DEALER COUNCIL LEADERS

Higher allocation is top priority for Land Rover

The Range Rover Sport, above, and the Range Rover are two models in chronic short supply.
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Land Rover's U.S. dealers want more vehicles to sell.

Getting increased allocation of Land Rover production is the top priority for the brand's dealers this year, said Michael Levitan, chairman of the Jaguar Land Rover Retailer Cabinet. The cabinet was formed in 2013 by merging the Jaguar and Land Rover dealer councils.

"The majority of retailers today are short more than one truckload of cars every month," said Levitan, who owns two Jaguar-Land Rover stores and another stand-alone Land Rover store on Long Island in New York. "Their orders far exceed their ability to receive cars."

The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are the nameplates that are in shortest supply for Land Rover dealers, Levitan said. The shortages continue to compound.

"When you have a product that's sold out, it's not like you can order 10 and you get 10," he said. "You only get two, so eight people are waiting. The next production you get two more, but you've got 10 more orders. So now you've got 20 people, but you've only been able to serve four of them."

Land Rover had an overall supply of 4,400 vehicles on Jan. 1, the equivalent of a 19-day supply, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The brand doesn't report inventory data for individual nameplates.

While Jaguar Land Rover is trying to address the shortages by increasing production capacity, there is no overnight solution, Levitan said.

Land Rover's sales surge makes the problem more acute for dealers. The brand sold a record 50,010 vehicles in the United States in 2013, a 15 percent increase.

While Levitan said he expects U.S. dealers to get additional inventory in 2014, he doesn't think the shortages will be eliminated.

"It's a real bone of contention for the U.S. dealers today," he said.

You can reach Amy Wilson at awilson@crain.com.


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