In the middle is the lifestyle consumer. “We’re not targeting the image lifestyle people, but we’ll probably get some,” Ms. Falconer said. “The adventure lifestylist, people that actually get out there.”
To Ms. Falconer, this segment may be only weekend warriors but will be mountain biking, mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and more. “They need a vehicle that can get them and their kit there,” she said. “With that,” she went on, “we’re going to be a niche player, probably a little bit of a boutique unusual choice.”
In the 2017 interview, at the Grenadier pub in London, Mr. Ratcliffe said Jaguar’s decision to end the original Defender “had left quite a hole in the marketplace.” He criticized contemporary S.U.V.s as “jelly molds” that all look alike.
Mr. Clark touched on the company’s early plans. “As for any newcomer, building brand equity, fostering consideration and delivering on promises are the key ingredients of a successful start,” he said. His goal is to keep in touch with reservation holders to build their trust.
Mr. Clark mentioned the big-name competition: the Ford Bronco, the Wrangler, Toyota’s 4Runner. “However, as adjacent competitors we of course consider the Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover Defender and, to a lesser degree in this generation, the Mercedes G-Wagen,” he said. It will be a crowded and competitive market, but INEOS is confident in its niche.
U.S. focus groups yielded interesting results, Ms. Falconer said. “What we found was that anybody who owned an old Defender just loved us,” she said. “They thought what we were doing was great.”