Interview: Lennard Hoornik, JLR's Chief Commercial Officer

David Khoo

Lennard Hoornik, JLR’s Chief Commercial Officer, tells us more about the essence of Range Rover

SINGAPORE – It’s not enough to simply sell a car these days, but the accompanying ownership experience as well that best exemplifies its virtues. It’s about the brand connecting with the owners, as well as owners connecting with other owners through exclusive, strategically-curated, brand-aligned experiences.

For instance, Range Rover brings its concept of ‘modern luxury’ to life with the invitation-only ‘Range Rover House’. This global series of experiences is housed in exquisite homes in the world’s top destinations, which serve-up elevated hospitality for owners and enthusiasts alike.

Needless to say, you can’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach to JLR’s (formerly Jaguar Land Rover) concept of ‘modern luxury’, especially across the different markets around the world. Sure, certain immutable archetypes of ‘modern luxury’ transcend borders, but the targeted elements have to be tweaked and tailored to suit the sensibilities of the respective markets.

Lennard Hoornik, JLR’s Chief Commercial Officer, says, “If Range Rover wants to deliver ‘modern luxury’, you need a consistent online and offline experience. It’s also really important that we can provide fantastic experiences. Each of the countries apply different business models, but for me, the most important thing is not so much what kind of business model that is, but rather, the outcome of that in the sense of an experience. A lot of car makers are going more direct (to the consumer / owner), because they want to control more of that experience.”

Naturally, there still needs to be synergy between the brand and the respective ADs, arguably the folks closest to the ground (and thus, the customers), since that’s typically a customer’s / prospect’s first point of contact.

“We have a fantastic retail network that can provide fantastic service, but in some cases, I think the client wants to talk to us directly. So I think it’s better to focus on the outcome and less about which actual business model to apply, right?” Lennard says.

From pre-purchase to purchase to ownership and then post-purchase, it’s all thoughtfully curated experience with Range Rover and it’s the same case for the brand’s electrification journey. The brand has just launched the waiting list for the all-electric Range Rover and according to Lennard, “the uptake has been amazing!”

He continues, “You know, if we wanted to be the fastest (to market) with electric cars, we could have done it already. However, we don’t want to launch an electric car – we want to launch a Range Rover. And if you think it through, if you want the smoothest, quietest car with off-road abilities – key traits of the Range Rover – the electric propulsion system is a good fit to make the best Range Rover ever. Our engineers are working miracles and you will see this when we release details of the Range Rover BEV.” 

The Range Rover experience isn’t just about the empirical qualities, but the less tangible, emotional elements. “I still think that everybody that steps into a Range Rover, even with their eyes closed, will know it’s a Range Rover,” Lennard tells us.

“And recognising the marque with one’s eyes closed is really important! Not many brands can claim this and the key reason is that Range Rover is one of the few brands to create a platform from scratch – we don’t use a common platform (from someone else) to build a brand. Therefore, we’re able to create very unique driving characteristics and as I said before, you know you’re in a Range Rover, or a Defender and so on, with your eyes closed.”

The concept of ‘luxury’ is about having choices, but Range Rover’s idea of ‘modern luxury’ also helps shelter its clients in a cocoon of tranquillity, even to the extent where they’re protected from the bombardment of the stimuli of near-infinite possibilities.

“Range Rover is a brand for leaders. In a Range Rover, you sit higher above most other cars and you enjoy the smooth ride regardless of whether you’re sitting in the front or at the back. It’s really the tranquillity of the experience as you enjoy the sanctuary of the cabin. I always see it as a reward after a hard day’s work. It’s a beautiful space to be in and it’s about less not about more.”

He smiles, “With a Range Rover, you’re buying a feeling and a dream, but more importantly, you’re buying into our brand’s heritage, technology and the way we make it. We take big pride and big risk in putting new technology in, but more importantly, you don’t see this technology everywhere (so you’re never bombarded by it), but you’ll always have what you need.”


EV Jaguar JLR land rover lennard hoornik Range Rover SUV

About the Author

David Khoo

From PR to product planning and content creation, David is a big petrolhead who has been dabbling in the car trade since 2001. His stories often take an eclectic slant from the predictable and he's able to craft a compelling read that lets you see the cars (often old!) in a new light.

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