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New Range Rover makes its U.S. debut at LA Auto Show

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Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director of Vehicle Programs, Nick Collins joins Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian as the company shows off its new Range Rover at the LA Auto Show. Nick also discusses how Jaguar Land Rover is battling the global chip shortage.

Video Transcript

- Welcome back. The LA Auto Show kicks off Friday, and Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian is there with a preview. He joins us live right now with a special guest from Jaguar Land Rover. Hi, Pras.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey Alexis. That's right. I am in the lap of luxury here in the brand new big dog, the Range Rover, Land Rover's, you know, preeminent, their top tier vehicle. Joining me now is Nick Collins, Executive Director here at Jaguar Land Rover. So Nick, let's talk about this car. It's stunning inside, stunning outside. Tell me more about it.

NICK COLLINS: Well this is a really exciting moment for us. Range Rover has got a 50-year history, and this is the fifth generation car. But this is all new from the ground up. It really is a huge commitment from us to sustainable technology, the ultimate in modern luxury design. And we're really excited to be here in LA, showing it to the US public for the first time.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, we're here in this car. There's leather everywhere, even on the roof up here, door cards, of course. But tell me about the powertrain for this car. You know, we're seeing a lot of electrification coming from a lot of competitors. Your sister brand, Jaguar, has the I-PACE. What's happening from the Land Rover point of view?

NICK COLLINS: Well this car is launched with a range of powertrains. So we've got a V8 petrol, we've got a 6-cylinder petrol. We are also launching with an extended range plug-in hybrid, and that's a plug-in hybrid that can do 62 miles of EV-only driving, so incredibly refined, incredibly relaxed. But maybe the most exciting piece of news for us is from 2024, we will do a full EV Range Rover. And what could be more luxurious than that? Whisper quiet EV progress in a Range Rover.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, I think a lot of people in client's ears are looking forward to that. But are they asking-- are they actually asking for EV off-road vehicles like the Range Rover?

NICK COLLINS: Oh, absolutely. We see, as the industry does, a growth of EV in the industry. You know, we've made a commitment that the Jaguar brand will be EV-only from 2025. This electric vehicle Range Rover will be the first of six in the Land Rover brand. Every nameplate in the Land Rover brand will have an EV option by the end of the decade. And we've also committed to be zero tailpipe emissions by 2036 as a total company. So we're completely committed on that, but we see our customers wanting it as well. And we see a real pent-up demand for an EV Range Rover.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Let's talk about California. We're here in the LA Auto Show, which has come back after a year off from the pandemic. How important is this market to Range Rover and Jaguar?

NICK COLLINS: Well first of all, it's great for us to be back here in California. And this is a hugely important market for us. It's the second biggest market in the US. Actually at a global level, it's a very important market as well. You just have to drive the streets around here to see how many Range Rovers there are in this market, just to realize how important it is to us.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Also got to talk to you about something that's been, you know, a overhang on the auto sector, and that's the component and chip shortages that we've been seeing. How are you guys able to weather through that? And has that changed the way you do business in terms of, hey, you know, what we're going to take more custom orders, as opposed to just pumping cars out to the dealerships?

NICK COLLINS: Yeah, well, it's definitely been a challenging time for the whole world, isn't it, the last couple of years? And like everybody else in the industry, we've had our fair share of COVID and microchip-related disruptions in the supply chain. But with every challenge comes an opportunity, and we work through that with our retail partners. We've worked through that with our supply partners.

We've got our freshest, most competitive line-up of cars. We've got incredibly high order bank for the moment. But as you said, it's allowed us to look at different models of profitability, different market mix, different ways to market, very much more a pull model rather than a push model. And you know, out of every crisis comes opportunity and opportunities to learn and be better.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, with the chips we're talking a lot about this technology and new features. And this-- real quick-- one last thing I wanted to ask you about is, what are some of the highlights for this car, in terms of technology and just really the wows and the ahs in this car that we can-- I'm looking at it right now.

NICK COLLINS: Well, you know, as I said, it's new from the ground up, but maybe a few highlights for me. From a ride and a driving experience, we got rear wheel steer on the rear axle. We can do seven degrees of turning angle. That's going to a turning circle like a compact sedan. It's incredible in a car like this.

This is the long wheelbase Range Rover. First time ever in the US market, seven seats. And the US market has been asking us for years for a seven-seat Range Rover, so this is a big deal for the market, a big deal for us.

We've got Amazon Alexa integration entertainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. And we've now got 70 of the control modules around the car, where we can update the software over the air to keep the car fresh for our customers and offer new features as we go forward as well.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Well Alexis, I think I'm sold. I think I'm taking this car home with me, but I don't know if Nick will let me. So Nick Collins, thanks again, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director. Thank you so much.

NICK COLLINS: Pleasure. Great to be here.

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