JLR boss fights back

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Land Rover’s reputation for topping the car theft has been in the headlines a lot recently

Some owners claim they’ve had to take their vehicles off the road because of soaring insurance costs related to theft rates. On top of that, JLR still has a problem with its parts supply, with thousands of cars off the road awaiting bits to fix them. Ironically, this has driven a surge in thefts of cars being broken up for their parts.

So what has Land Rover done about it? Well it insists the parts problems has eased, with only a third of cars originally affected now waiting for critical parts compared with October. Land Rover owners paint a different picture, however, with some forming themselves into the ‘Jaguar Land Rover Alliance Group’ to put pressure on the car maker to do more.

JLR claims to be spending more than £15m updating 450,000 Land Rover models made between 2018 to 2022 with new security software, and launched its own insurance cover for customers facing high premiums.

In recent interviews (and coinciding with the manufacturer revealing its highest quarterly profit since 2017), CEO Adrian Mardell has admitted the company is partly funding police security at the ports in an attempt to tackle theft. He said: “The containers are not being checked and [stolen cars] get out of the country. If we could stop it there, then the ability for these gangs to do this will be restricted.

“It’s the right thing to do. This is super-important. It’s super-personal. And we’ve got to sort this out.”

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He also used the opportunity to tell reporters that data suggesting a high theft rate of Range Rover and Defender models has been hugely exaggerated because of misreported data. 

Citing the latest full-year DVLA statistics for 2023 and data from the Police National Computer, Mardell said there are no JLR models in the top three stolen vehicles, and that thefts had actually fallen by 27 per cent last year compared with 2022. He concludes: “I’m not sure which other brand could actually claim such a high level of security and a low level of theft,” and that these figures meant “there is no reason whatsoever why any insurance company should not gladly and readily insure those new vehicles.”

Mardell is insistent that JLR is taking action – from tackling organised crime at the docks to accusing the insurance industry of failing to take into account all data when setting cover and premiums. He is also slamming the press for unfairly singling out his company.

What are your thoughts? Contact our Editor, Martin Domoney, on [email protected]