JLR boss: high Range Rover theft rate 'has become a problem'

11 months ago - 12 July 2023, autocar
JLR boss: high Range Rover theft rate 'has become a problem'
Company is working to ensure "significantly lower" risk of theft for previous-gen Range Rover owners

Thefts of high-end JLR models including the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport is a concern for the company, its CEO has admitted, but he claims the firm has solved the issue with the latest models.

“Theft of our vehicles in large cities has become a problem,” Adrian Mardell, JLR’s acting CEO, told analysts in June, singling out London and Manchester as the two worst theft locations.

Earlier this year, an Autocar investigation found that Range Rover owners were being denied insurance because the risk of theft had become so great.

According to the DVLA, Range Rovers were the second most stolen cars in the UK in 2022, with more than 5200 taken.

Mardell said recorded thefts were “mostly old-architecture” Range Rover and Range Rover Sports.

The company is working with owners of the previous-generation flagship Range Rover models in two ways to reduce thefts, Mardell said. The first one was to ensure log-in details of the InControl app, which allows remote access to the vehicle, were being correctly transferred to new owners. The second was updating the car’s body control module, which oversees security.

There's a lot of work to do - there's a big car parc out there - but our data tells us with those two actions, the theft of those vehicles is significantly lower,” Mardell said.

Meanwhile, instances of theft of the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport on the MLA architecture were “very close to zero” despite the cars being on sale for a year, Mardell said.

Theft incidents had become so prevalent that JLR was forced halt its own insurance offering last year, after partner Verex said it would no longer extend coverage.

The high rate of theft was having a knock-on effect on current model Range Rovers. Dan Adler, an investment specialist from north London, told Autocar in February his inbound Range Rover P440e Autobiography had pushed the cost of his multi-car premiums from £5000 to £11,000, forcing him to cancel his purchase.

The insurance issue isn’t deterring customers. The Range Rover Sport was JLR’s second best-selling model in the UK to the end of June, with 5133 units sold, and the Range Rover was its fourth biggest-selling model, at 3967, over double the figure for the same period last year. The Defender was JLR’s best-seller over the period, with the Range Rover Evoque third. 

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