Speaking at a meeting of Land Rover heads in the Asia Pacific region, held in Melbourne, the company’s brand director John Edwards pledged his support for the project to get the green light.
“The car that really got us [Land Rover] through the [global economic] downturn was the Range Rover Evoque,” began Edwards, who cited Land Rover being able to shift 300,000 cars for the first time ever in 2012.
“It was the right car at the right time.
“We’re a brand with momentum, and a brand with ambition, and we intend to keep that success going.
“[Evoque Convertible] is still an opportunity for us. We’re very close to making a decision.”
Asked directly whether Edwards wants the Range Rover Evoque Convertible to go into production, he replied “I hope so, yeah … if I get my way
“It’s a car I want to do, we’ve just got to make sure the maths work.”
That support from the brand boss indicates the Evoque Convertible will get across the line, despite earlier rumours suggesting that the project may be stillborn.
Edwards dismissed criticism of the styling and ethos of the Evoque Convertible Concept, which was shown at the 2012 Geneva motor show, saying that “it [the reaction] has been pretty positive in the markets we might sell it in, in volume.
“So the American markets, the European market, [it has been] 80 per cent positive, I would say.”
Land Rover refused to comment on when the Evoque Convertible may roll off the production line, but it did confirm the long wheelbase Range Rover will be launched “later this year” with the first ever hybrid Range Rover due in the fourth quarter.
The company hopes to expand on its record sales in 2012, particularly in the US and China.