Gerry McGovern, the design director for Land Rover, believes that tuners "have it easy," as they just work on someone else’s product. In discussion with the Brits at Autocar, the designer expressed his wish of seeing tuners “design their own car.”
McGovern’s statement continued with a focus on quality that will not be matched, and the offer will be completed with customization opportunities. McLaren, another British marque, also has a Special Vehicle Operations division. The latter handles bespoke models and customizations, along with the maintenance work of the F1 models.
In the case of Land Rover, the SVO division should offer styling components, interior customizations, and mechanical upgrades to have a shot at attracting more clients. That said, it is unfeasible for a company like Land Rover to attempt to take tuners out of the market, and we do not believe that this is the real intention of the brand owned by Tata Motors.
Instead, we think that Mr. McGovern’s statement was made to attract the attention of the public. While this may have worked, the announcement has also increased customer expectations regarding the possibilities offered by the new division. After all, when a company wants to replace a third-party, it must be willing and ready to match their offer.
In the case of tuning companies, Land Rover’s SVO division will have its work cut out for it, as both of its core brands are popular with tuners across the world. Some of those tuners work on older models as well, and they are also willing to perform “unorthodox” engine swaps and modifications.
We do not expect Land Rover’s SVO division to match the offer of tuning companies entirely, but the specialists of this department should provide an exceptional level of craftsmanship for whatever components they will design for the customers.