Land Rover makes millionth Discovery
* Discovery sets off on 8000-mile trip to Beijing * Aims to raise 1m for charity * Next Disco will aim to appeal to similar customer base...
The millionth Land Rover Discovery rolled off its Solihull production line this morning.
Land Rover's milestone Discovery was displayed alongside the first example of the off-roader, before it set off on a 50-day, 8000-mile journey to Beijing in China. The Land Rover expedition is hoping to raise 1 million for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The route to China will take the Discovery through 12 countries before arriving at the Beijing motor show on April 23.
Despite the enormity of the trip, the car is remarkably similar to the one that a customer could buy in the showroom.
'The key is it's a pretty standard vehicle coming off the line,' said Phil Popham, group sales operations director at Jaguar Land Rover. 'There are some bits and pieces to carry the kit for the convoy, but it's largely a standard vehicle.'
The Discovery of the future
Despite a planned expansion of the Land Rover range, any future version of the Discovery must continue to appeal to the same type of buyer, according to Popham.
'The Discovery has been a remarkable success, and sales have grown again in the first quarter of this year,' said Popham. 'People want the versatility and the luxury, and it has gone down well in new markets such as China. We will have to stick to that in the future and have to appeal to the same people.'
Popham went on to explain how the Land Rover range is poised to grow over the coming years: 'We will replace all our current vehicles, but expect new products as well.'
This expansion could include a model smaller than the Evoque, with Popham saying: 'We always look at the gaps, or white space, in our range and are doing that all the time. Trends change, and there is a trend towards smaller cars at the moment. Nothing is confirmed at the moment, but never rule anything out.'
You can sponsor the Discovery team and help support water sanitation projects in Uganda at www.landrover.com/million.