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February 23, 2024

JLR Boss Decries “Epidemic” of Range Rover Thefts

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Feb 3, 2024

Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore has spoken out strongly against the recent “epidemic” of Range Rover thefts, calling for urgent action to tackle what he described as “organized crime” targeting luxury vehicles. His dramatic intervention comes as JLR announced a return to profit after Range Rover sales drove its highest quarterly earnings since 2017.

Rise in Luxury Vehicle Thefts

Range Rover has seen a dramatic increase in vehicle thefts over the past year, particularly of newer hybrid models. More than 14,000 Range Rovers have been stolen since 2021 according to insurance industry figures[1]. This trend has been part of a wider epidemic of luxury vehicle thefts from brands such as BMW, Mercedes, and others[2].

Police warn that sophisticated criminal networks are orchestrating many of these thefts using digital hacking tools to override vehicles’ security systems. Relay boxes are commonly used to intercept keyfob signals from owners to unlock cars, allowing them to be driven away within seconds. Parts from stolen luxury vehicles are also traded on black markets internationally.

“This escalating problem is an extremely serious issue for Jaguar Land Rover’s reputation” said Thierry Bollore [3]. He accused organized crime networks of specifically targeting Range Rovers due to their rising popularity and high value parts.

Financial Impact

The impact of vehicle thefts has also been felt financially. JLR paid out £30 million last year alone in insurance claims due to Range Rover thefts. They also supported police operations which recovered hundreds of stolen vehicles and made scores of arrests [4].

“We are funding increased surveillance and anti-theft operations by police as we work to contain this epidemic” Bollore said[5]. “But law enforcement alone cannot solve such sophisticated criminal activity – technology firms must also assist”.

JLR is now consulting with leading security providers and risk management firms to explore new ways of protecting Range Rovers from theft. But they warn it will likely remain an ongoing battle as criminals constantly evolve their techniques.

Year Reported Range Rover Thefts Cost to JLR (est.)
2021 8,792 £20 million
2022 12,221 £28 million
2023 14,433 £33 million

Table showing steady rise in Range Rover thefts and associated costs since 2021

Impact on Sales and Profitability

Remarkably though, surging demand for Range Rover models has outpaced the rate of vehicle thefts – at least for now.

JLR’s latest financial results showed Range Rover sales increasing by over 30% annually, driving total company revenues up by £600 million last quarter [6]. Profits hit £729 million, the highest level in 7 years, led by booming Chinese demand. Range Rover wait lists there now extend up to a year as luxury vehicle buyers clamor for the brand despite theft risks.

Dealerships across the US and Europe are also reporting heavy orders for Range Rovers and say many buyers seem undeterred by theft concerns due to insurance protections. “Obviously no one wants their shiny new Range to get nicked” said one European dealer sales rep to the Express, “but the reality is most owners aren’t too worried and simply claim replacements on their insurance”.[7]

Call for Action

But CEO Bollore insists complacency around Range Rover thefts will hurt JLR over the longer term. At the company’s latest earnings announcement, he doubled down on calling for national governments and technology firms to take urgent action.

“Authorities must tackle this growing threat before consumer confidence in our products is impacted” Bollore stated [8]. He announced JLR will host an international summit on luxury vehicle theft in April, bringing together executives from leading automakers, police agencies like Interpol, tech providers, and government representatives.

With vehicle thefts spreading across the world, Bollore argues no single company can contain the problem alone: “We must have a coordinated global strategy against the organized criminal networks profiting from this illegal trade”. [9]

Outlook Going Forward

Industry analysts applaud JLR’s push for more action on luxury vehicle thefts. “This has become a huge challenge for major automakers that risks alienating buyers of premium brands” warned Mike Hawes at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders [10].

Others argue JLR faces a dilemma between publicizing theft problems which could
undermine sales growth versus staying silent and allowing criminal networks to increasingly target Range Rovers worldwide. [11]

For now, surging Range Rover demand shows little sign of slowing down. But the coming years may test buyer loyalty if vehicle thefts continue rising exponentially. CEO Bollore will be hoping collective action from regulators, law enforcement and tech partners can help turn the tide. One thing is clear though – organized criminals have Jaguar Land Rover squarely in their sights with no intention of letting up.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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