Range Rovers are plummeting in value because they’ve become so easy to steal—now its makers are spending millions trying to make the luxury SUVs theft-proof

William of England
By William of England 5 Min Read

The theft of Range Rovers—the luxury SUVs working beneath the Jaguar Land Rover model—has soared in current years as criminals have discovered new subtle methods to hijack the autos, which command a beginning worth of simply over £103,000 ($130,400). 

Thieves’ strategies embrace a “relay attack,” the place criminals intercept the sign between a automobile and its key to unlock the automobile and drive off.

Data from the U.Okay. Driver and Vehicle License Agency (DVLA) discovered that almost one out of each 100 Land Rover-branded vehicles was stolen final 12 months, the Telegraph reported. That’s 3 times as a lot as the subsequent most stolen automobile model, Mercedes-Benz.

Theft epidemic

It has created a mini epidemic, with most drivers now accustomed to Range Rovers’ vulnerability to being stolen. 

A wave of thefts in the U.Okay. county of Staffordshire prompted native police to put out a warning to homeowners to take further measures to defend their autos. That included putting clamps on tires and steering wheels. There are additionally numerous articles in U.Okay. tabloid papers advising drivers how to defend their SUVs.

Widespread data of the thefts has additionally made the vehicles practically unimaginable to insure in main U.Okay. areas, in accordance to a number of research. 

Analysis of insurance coverage comparability web sites by the Telegraph and the Independent discovered it value drivers at the very least £20,000 ($25,300) to insure a Range Rover in outer London, whereas it wasn’t to obtain a quote for a automobile in the heart of London. 

The thefts have become an issue that Range Rover operator JLR is all too conscious of. 

“Theft of our vehicles in large cities has become a problem, particularly in London and Manchester,” JLR CEO Adrian Mardell admitted at the firm’s investors day in June this 12 months. 

Jaguar Land Rover introduced in November that it had invested £10 million ($12.7 million) in retrofitting its older fashions to make them much less susceptible to theft. 

This included a way of tackling the “relay attack” which has become so fashionable with thieves. Patrick McGillycuddy, JLR’s U.Okay. managing director, mentioned tackling the theft of Range Rovers was his “personal priority.”

“While vehicle theft in the UK is affecting the whole car industry, at JLR we understand the negative impact this can have on the ownership experience for our clients. Our investment of more than £10 million demonstrates our ongoing commitment to tackling this issue,” he mentioned. 

The measures appear to have labored to cut back thefts. JLR mentioned the variety of stolen Range Rovers and Range Rover sports activities had plummeted by 40% in the 12 months to October 2023, citing police information.

A consultant for JLR didn’t instantly reply to Fortune’s request for remark.

Prices plummet

But JLR’s makes an attempt to thief-proof the vehicles is perhaps too little, too late for the beleaguered present Range Rover homeowners trying to shift their fashions.

Analysis by Bloomberg discovered the worth of the vehicles has nosedived in the final 12 months as information of their prolificacy for theft has unfold.

Since May, the common worth of a used Range Rover has dropped 9.3% to £35,224 ($44,609), Bloomberg reported, citing information from Auto Trader. That outpaced declines in the normal business.

The publication discovered one proprietor who had been notably burned by a waning urge for food for the luxury SUVs. Bloomberg experiences that Tim Coen spent £103,000 on a Range Rover Sport SVR in 2021. Three months in the past, a car-trading web site valued the SUV at £75,000, whereas it might now fetch simply £45,000.

However, gross sales information for brand spanking new Range Rovers suggests the wave of thefts isn’t pushing aside consumers of first-hand fashions.

JLR’s retail gross sales rose 29% in the second quarter of 2023 in contrast with the similar interval final 12 months, with Range Rovers persevering with to make up the bulk of these orders.

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