What Happened to Land Rover in the Third World? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old December 28th, 2014, 10:38 AM
jzakary
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Josh Zakary
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What Happened to Land Rover in the Third World?

Hey Guys,

I think anyone who is a fan of the Land Rover will think of old pictures of Series II's in the heart of the Congo, or anywhere else in Africa. Unfortunately those days are over. I've worked in Namibia, and Uganda for years, and with the exception of a few Tour operator,s and SelfDrive Safari's Land Rover Defender is essentially Dead in Africa. Now it's all Land Cruisers.

So what happened? How could a truck that was the standard off-road/military vehicle for most of the world, completely disappear in just a few decades?

Was it simply an issue that the Toyota Land Cruiser was more reliable, or is there something more to it?

I appreciate any insight you can give me!

Josh
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  #2  
Old December 28th, 2014, 10:41 AM
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I'm no expert but I'm sure reliability played a big part of their disappearance along with marketing and cost.
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  #3  
Old December 28th, 2014, 10:44 AM
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Toyota.
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  #4  
Old December 28th, 2014, 10:47 AM
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Toyota.
Them and Mitsubishi.
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  #5  
Old December 28th, 2014, 11:06 AM
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I've had the same thoughts although when you venture further South into South Africa you'll find more of them still being used. My Wife and I would stop by the new and used dealerships while in country and I don't think there was a single Land Rover that seemed over priced. Maybe it's partly due to cost too. We noticed that the national parks staff mostly used Toyota, but that there are a lot of private Land Rover Defenders still being used. I've only spent a few months total in Africa in the last three years but I don't remember seeing a single Series.

------ Follow up post added December 28th, 2014 09:07 AM ------

I meant that there wasn't a single Land Rover that wasn't over priced.


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Originally Posted by RhinoRover View Post
I've had the same thoughts although when you venture further South into South Africa you'll find more of them still being used. My Wife and I would stop by the new and used dealerships while in country and I don't think there was a single Land Rover that seemed over priced. Maybe it's partly due to cost too. We noticed that the national parks staff mostly used Toyota, but that there are a lot of private Land Rover Defenders still being used. I've only spent a few months total in Africa in the last three years but I don't remember seeing a single Series.
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  #6  
Old December 28th, 2014, 11:31 AM
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The Japanese auto manufacturers listen to what customers want and oblige. They innovate.

Land Rover just seems to produce the same basic utility vehicles unchanged for years. They don't evolve as quickly as Toyota.

Toyota is proactive where Land Rover seems reactive.

And yes, reliability is something everybody wants.
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  #7  
Old December 28th, 2014, 11:58 AM
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A few extra MPG's help as well.
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  #8  
Old December 28th, 2014, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisC View Post
The Japanese auto manufacturers listen to what customers want and oblige. They innovate. Land Rover just seems to produce the same basic utility vehicles unchanged for years. They don't evolve as quickly as Toyota. Toyota is proactive where Land Rover seems reactive. And yes, reliability is something everybody wants.
Evolve? ... They have the evolutionary framework of a crocodile.
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  #9  
Old December 28th, 2014, 12:20 PM
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Toyota basically gave their trucks away. They purposefully flooded the markets as a big car company can do.

Low prices, flooded the market, better reliability.
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  #10  
Old December 28th, 2014, 12:33 PM
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Ask yourself a question. If you had to buy a 20 year-old vehicle to drive and you couldn't restore it, would you rather have a Toyota that has an excellent reliability reputation, or a Land Rover which has a terrible reputation for reliability? For me, it's a no brainer, I'd buy the Toyota every time. Case in point, I'm removing as many of the Rover oily bits from my 110 asap and replacing them with modern GM parts.
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  #11  
Old December 28th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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And Land Rover ownership changing hands as often as it hasn't helped either. They've been without solid upper management and stakeholder commitment for too long. As a result I think they decided to reinvent themselves as a shallow luxury brand given where the global economy and consumer values are going/expected to be. Probably the right choice from purely a stakeholder perspective.

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  #12  
Old December 28th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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I do't believe this is the case though. You can buy new Land Rovers there. They are just damn expensive, less reliable, poorer gas mileage, and less comfortable.

When you live in Africa, you aren't always looking for an adventure
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  #13  
Old December 28th, 2014, 01:56 PM
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Thanks for the input guys, but I don't think your grasping what i'm trying to get at.

Yes, there are pockets in Africa where the Defender is still somewhat common, but if you go back 30 years Land Rover was the common mode of transport for the majority of the world.

When I lived in Namibia, the Defender was strictly for the tourist trade, and a some White Africans. When I was in Uganda, I think I saw a Defender maybe five times. These are post colonial counties that not long ago just about every vehicle would of been a Land Rover, but now you rarely see them. Why?

So again i'm not saying you can't find a Land Rover in Africa. What I am asking is why their numbers have dwindled to almost nothing. Especially considering Land Rover only stopped making the Defender recently. Also considering the body is Aluminum, I would expect they would of had a long life in the second-hand market. Like Classic American cars in Cuba.

Thanks!
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  #14  
Old December 28th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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It's just like we said. The Toyotas are cheaper, they were, probably still are easier to get, and they have better reliability. If you are running a business on a shoestring and have no brand loyalty, you ARE going to get a Toyota over Land Rover. Period. Over the years, they have fallen off in numbers.
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  #15  
Old December 28th, 2014, 02:28 PM
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Definite reliability. They have ton of jokes on the issue. Most safari outfitters have switched to toyotas. I drove an '86 Land Cruiser across Kenya and let me tell you how impressive it was. Did 70+ mph across Rift Valley for hours and that beast was solid.
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  #16  
Old December 28th, 2014, 02:35 PM
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I'm sure that the exploration and colonization of much of Africa by the British had something to do with it.

When the countries in Africa started gaining their independence, Land Rover lost its market dominance and Toyota moved in.
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  #17  
Old December 28th, 2014, 02:44 PM
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oddly in Kashmir Pakistan its loaded with old Land Cruisers, all in real nice condition but full of Pak bling..... not sure why Toyota dominated that area back in the day.
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  #18  
Old December 28th, 2014, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
I'm sure that the exploration and colonization of much of Africa by the British had something to do with it.
What!!?? By the time Land Rovers showed up pretty much all the British holdings in Africa had been turned over.
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