On the topic of Land Rover's refusal to share concept images of the latest design for the Defender replacement, Gerry McGovern has revealed that the reluctance to share concept images or show off full-scale concept cars stems from concerns that the concepts will be used to create copies of the firm's designs.
It has been widely covered in these pages and in the larger automotive press that Land Rover has sued Chinese automaker Landwind over its X7, that by all appearances looked to be a direct copy of the Range Rover Evoque. Unfortunately, the Chinese judicial system does not favor foreign entities and there is little recourse available in such cases. The result of this and other debacles is that Land Rover is changing the way it goes about unveiling new projects.
McGovern says, “We’re nervous about showing show cars a couple of years out as you can be copied just like that.”
The investments that go into the development of new cars can be staggering, and as in the case of the Landwind imitator, a cheap lookalike may end up undercutting a significant portion of potential sales needed to recoup those investments.
Indeed, Land Rover has not been showing many concepts of late. Their latest new model, the Range Rover Velar, was never shared with the public in concept form. Also of note, the 2011 DC100 Defender concept was a notoriously dismal failure, and we sincerely hope that it is in no way representative of what the new Defender will look like. In fact, I think it would be better if Landwind built the DC100. I'm sure Land Rover's worst is an improvement over what the copycats could produce on their own.
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