Rover sales and comparison
THE NEW ROVERS AND THE OLD ROVER/TRIUMPH RANGE
Within a brand new concept of styling and advanced engineering, the new Rovers retain all the qualities which put the previous Rover/Triumph range among the market leaders in its sector. BL expected that a large proportion of customers will derive from previous Rover/Triumph owners particularly because previous market research has indicated that these owners are very loyal to their marques. Back in the '70 this was a bit of a gamble and was no guarantee. The Sd1 with its special design could also be be linked with conservatism about accepting a new body style, or an attachment to certain features of the previous models which have since been upgraded on the new ones.
In this section, therefore, we use market research findings to assess the strengths of the new Rovers against the models they replaced.
The New Rovers versus the Rover 2200SC/TC
We have seen that all the traditional qualities of the marque have been inherited and enhanced in the new models, along with many additional developments including the all-new six-cylinder engines. However, to the Rover owner, these qualities are presented within a body style which in terms of the five-door concept and sleek, highly streamlined styling, represents a departure from his current model. We know, from previous car clinic research on the 3500, that Rover owners tend to put styling third in their priorities, and rate comfort first, and quality and reliability second. Using these preferences as a departure point, we can analyse the comp rative strengths of the two models with a view to defining the new Rover's advantages and to ove coming possible objections.
Further Advantages: PERFORMANCE, RIDE, HANDLING
Rover 2200 owners could exchange their 4-cylinders for all the power and smoothness of greater capacity 6-cylinder engines built to a high level of refinement and durability, and incorporating features designed to boost performance without sacrificing economy, The Rover 2300 knocks 3 seconds off the 2200 SC's 0-60 time, and the 2600 is nearly a second ahead of the TC.
The aerodynamic body style is further justifiable to the Rover owner in terms of its contribution to performance and economy, and also because of the greater stability it affords. The new Rovers owe their smoother ride in part to the longer wheelbase, and self-levelling suspension on the 2600; yet despite their greater length they still have a tighter turning circle.
In addition, the advantages of improved visibility (60% more glass) and the choice of a five-speed gearbox, Denovo tyres and power-assisted steering make the new 2300 and 2600, overall, a superior car to drive.
The New Rover versus the Triumph 2000. 2500TC/S, 2500S Estate
The Triumph range has a well-earned reputation for prestige and sophistication and the 25005, in particular, was a natural choice as an executive's car. The 25000 Estate combines a high level of interior refinement with an impressive load-carrying capacity, and the whole range offers well-proven in-line six-cylinder engines. Along with Rover owners, Triumph owners value, in order, comfort, quality/reliability and styling — and will naturally expect to see these benefits upgraded to an even higher level in the new range replacing their own. In this respect it is encouraging to note that at the 6-cylinder car clinic Triumph owners did, in fact, show a very high level of interest in the new Rovers, particularly the 2600. Our aim, therefore, is to define the features of the new Rovers which can justifiably uphold their position as the superior successors to a high-quality range.
Further Advantages — PERFORMANCE and ROOMINESS
We have said that styling was third on the list of Triumph owners priorities, and it is worth considering how to tackle a possible conservatism about the new Rover's style in view of these two final ad-vantages. Six-cylinder engines are, of course, nothing new to the Triumph owner; other points to consider are the standard power-assisted steering and overdrive on 3rd and top gear of the 2500S.
However, there are, as you know, many design features and refinements built into the all-new Rover power units which the Triumph owner has not previously experienced. Furthermore, the stylistic and engineering advancement of the new Rover is nowhere more evident that in the tremendous stability, ride, comfort and handling afforded by the wide track, long wheelbase, low-raked profile and self-levelling suspension, providing a smooth, noise-free ride.
A further advantage over the Triumph saloons is the Rover's Estate flexibility. However, we cannot, of course, afford to ignore the fact that the 2600 is also replacing the 2500S Estate.
An important point to bear in mind is that the 35.4 cubic feet of space offered by the Rover only extends to the glass level; in fact, the total area of luggage space is almost double this figure, giving a carrying capacity superior to the dimensions of the 2500 S Estate.
It is interesting to note from the car clinic that of the number of car buyers considering an Estate, the vast majority (78%) were prepared to consider the 5-door configuration. A point which also further supports the potential of Rover's hatchback styling.
In conclusion then, we have seen that the advantages of the new Rovers over the previous Rover/ Triumph models, in terms of the qualities most valued by this owner-group, make them highly qualified successors of both ranges. So lets compare the car to the competition, the Volvo 244DL, SAAB 99GL, AUDI 100LS, CITROEN CX2400 PALLAS and the Renault 30TS.
See the European competition.