Land Rover Garners 618 Online Orders for SUV

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Land Rover North America's effort the second half of last year to allow consumers to configure and place orders online yielded 618 confirmed orders and 1,027 additional sales leads for its 2002 Land Rover Freelander model.


Called Freelander IPO, the program at www.freelander.com went live in August, four months before the Freelander, a small sport utility vehicle, hit dealer showrooms in December. Agency.com Ltd., Dallas, led the online effort.


"Not only has Land Rover gained orders and leads from consumers interested in the Freelander vehicle, but they also gathered valuable information to help them more effectively target potential Freelander consumers for their future offline marketing initiatives," Don Scales, president of Agency.com: Western Region, said in a statement.


Starting in December, when Freelander cars hit showrooms, the freelander.com site was taken down. Now, consumers typing that Web address are taken to a special Freelander section on www.landrover.com.


Land Rover pushed Freelander IPO to the car's target audience of 25-year-olds to 34-year-olds in the market to buy a small SUV for a little less than $30,000. The car costs $26,000.


The site demonstrated the features and British heritage of this latest Land Rover to hit the U.S. market.


Interactive shop Agency.com's i-traffic division and GSD&M, Austin, TX, Land Rover North America's traditional agency, collaborated on the site.


"The demographic and the younger age that we've targeted for this product, we feel, is going to have more Internet savvy, especially in the buying cycle," Dean Evans, manager of interactive media and e-commerce at Land Rover, Irvine, CA, said in May.


"And also, in the research phases of the sales process, we want to make sure we have a presence [online]," Evans said.


The Freelander news comes just as Subaru of America Inc. said it will allow consumers this spring to configure and order the new Subaru Baja online.


A crossover between a car and a truck, the Subaru Baja is the automaker's first stab at online ordering. Orders for the vehicle at www.subarubaja.com will be taken starting in mid-May or mid-June, a few months ahead of its September showroom debut.


Orders, with specifications, placed on subarubaja.com will be directed to the nearest Subaru dealer, which will handle payment and delivery. Land Rover, too, referred online orders to dealers.


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