Jaguar Land Rover’s switch to the agency model next year is a seismic one, yet it could have the unintended consequence of shining the spotlight on the strength and positioning of one of its models. 

As part of the agency shift, each of the firm’s dealerships will get four distinct areas to become what the firm calls a ‘house of brands’ – creating, in essence, four distinct brands. No longer will it be Jaguar and Land Rover, but Jaguar, Range Rover, Defender and Discovery

Jaguar, Defender, Discovery and Range Rover split in JLR agency shift

Jaguar’s reinvention for 2025 and the challenges and opportunities that come with it are well publicised. Range Rover looks after itself as a brand, and seems entirely logical to promote as such, as does Defender. Both of these are incredibly sharp in their positioning and brand appeal. Indeed, in JLR’s most recent results, it said that the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Defender account for almost three quarters of its entire order bank. 

JLR’s 2022 numbers are skewed not only by the chip shortage it felt harder than most, but also it being a changeover year for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Yet even so, the four-strong Range Rover line-up carried the marque through the storm; even the smaller-selling Velar (27,000 units) sold at least a quarter more than its sister car and biggest-selling Jaguar, the F-Pace (21,000 units), and two and a half times that of the Discovery (11,000).

Simply put, the Range Rover range (155,000 sales out of 269,000 Land Rovers last year) goes from strength to strength, and the expansion of it has been a near unqualified success. It is worthy of being considered a brand in its own right.

The Defender, meanwhile, was JLR’s biggest-selling model, outselling the entire Jaguar range combined. Again, the chips were diverted here due to its success and profitability, but it was built, and the buyers came. An expansion of the Defender range beyond changes in wheelbase lengths, doors and seats can’t come soon enough, yet already the strength of the Defender name far exceeds that of many other brands.

But what of the Discovery? JLR sold 67,000 Defenders in 2022, but just 48,000 Discovery Sport and Discovery models combined – the latter’s 11,000 units meaning it was outsold more than six times over by the Defender with which it shares a factory.

Land rover discovery sport 2014 rear quarter tracking