Not long after Land Rover re-entered the US market in 1987, LRNA President Charles Hughes noted that one great challenge for the marque was that relatively few people knew the Land Rover marque at all, and nowhere near enough knew the Range Rover.
You were not only trying to interest people in a particular model, you were trying to convince them to part with their hard-earned dollars and give them to a automobile company that for many had receded into distant memory. After all the last new Land Rovers left the US market in 1974 and they resembled the first ones from 1948 - hardly contemporary in appearance.
The Rover name had been further tainted by the marketing efforts behind the Rover 3500, and worse, the Sterling [the name given to a Rover-Honda car because old British Leyland litigation might have been resumed had the Rover name appeared on the car], proof that the Rover nameplate did not bring back fond memories.
Give Land Rover credit, though. Starting with the Range Rover, they brought in the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, LR3 and LR4 models, and now, the Evoque. Land Rover enthusiasts like me might shiver at the sight of one but guess what - Land Rover is an automobile manufacturer in business to make money selling new cars every year in over 168 world markets.
The Defender lineup might be the emotional successor to the Series Land Rover models, but at most Land Rover can make and sell 35,000 of them, out of the over 200,,000 cars produced annually. So the models less-loved by enthusiasts provide most of the profit margin needed by the company.
The Evoque keeps winning award after award. There's a 7 month wait for one in the UK, something that would be nearly impossible to fathom in the instant-gratification world of the US. Good for Land Rover for producing a small Range Rover with 28 mpg highway, eye catching looks and some pretty good off road cred!