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With success and plenty of awards being flung at the company’s compact luxury SUV, the Ranger Rover Evoque, volume sales seem more reasonable for the British brand than they might a few years ago.
Still, the new Defender will have a steep hill to climb if it is to overcome the mighty Toyota Hilux, which recently became the first vehicle to conquer the Magnetic North Pole.
Perhaps spurred on by popular sales figures for the Evoque, Land Rover boss John Edwards said he hopes the company will grow into a global brand instead of a brand being sold globally. That statement might seem a little bold in the face of only 20,000 defenders selling next to the 549,000 Hilux units sold in 2011.
Part of doing that will be offering more than one popular seller, which the Defender might be — if the company can settle on a design. The Defender DC100 concept got its North American debut last week in New York, but it’s still not clear if that model will make it to production.
Land Rover will also have its reputation for dubious reliability to contend with, especially if it hopes to challenge Toyota, a brand built on its dependability image, despite recent controversy.
The kid confused the gas pedal for the brake in his Toyota Hilux pickup truck and careened into his mother, who was sitting in front of the motor vehicle registry. The mother was pinned against the wall and thankfully survived after being rushed to the hospital, albeit with severe leg injuries.
It’s not known whether the driving examiner was also injured, but he won’t be passing the 17-year old.
Toyota recalled a number of trucks in Japan for a defective steering column but chose to wait nearly a year before recalling them in North America, despite a series of complains in the United States regarding the issue. The revelation comes on the heels of a $16.4 million fine imposed by the U.S. government as punishment for Toyota delaying the recalls of millions of vehicles over accelerator pedals that stick open unintentionally.
The latest recall involves a defective steering column, and failure could lead to the driver being unable to steer the vehicle and turn its wheels. Toyota initially claimed that the recall was issued in Japan because driving conditions put more strain on the affected parts and denied that there was an issue in North America. However the Associated Press investigated the matter and found numerous complains to Toyota’s customer service, legal and warranty department. The National Highway Traffics Safety Association has linked the defect to 16 crashes, three deaths and seven injuries.
[Source: Automotive News]