Ever seen a toddler that just discovered they joys of sprinting? Yes? Then you’ll know the next thing they discover is their natural speed limit, when their legs can’t move as quickly as their mind demands. The end result is scraped knees and many tears. The same thing is kind of happening with Land Rover right now, albeit in slow motion.
On the back of the finest lineup since Maurice Wilks put pencil to paper in 1947, Land Rover is moving serious metal. To go back to our toddler analogy, the brand is just getting to the point where it’s realized that it’s asking its legs to go too quickly. According to a report on Automotive News Europe, the current wait for the sublimely good Range Rover Sport is nine months, while its big brother, the HSE has a six-month wait.
As ANE points out, matters are even worse in China, where a full-tilt Range Rover is selling for 2.8 million yuan, or a staggering $457,000 at today’s rates. In fact, Chinese customers are so adamant about getting a Range Rover that they’ve been willing to pony up 60,000-euro ($81,024) premiums just to be at the head of the queue.
While faced with crushing demand, Land Rover finds itself unable to increase supplies. The factory at Solihull, where the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery/LR4 and Defender are built, is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and still can’t build vehicles fast enough. Its Ford-built engines, meanwhile, remain in short supply, as well, so that even if the brand could increase vehicle production, it’ll still be bottlenecked by a lack of engines. Being a huge fan, and Rover owner myself, it’s good to see Land Rover in this kind of open-field sprint, but if the supply issues can’t be figured out, things only seem likely to end in tears.