DUNKELD, Scotland - About 97 percent of Land Rover owners never drive their vehicles off-road. But many of them buy Land Rovers because they know the vehicles could go sloshing through mud bogs, plowing through snowdrifts or fording mountain streams if called upon to do so.
Customers choose the brand because Land Rover exudes adventure. While there may be Toyota Land Cruisers or Mercedes-Benz G-wagens on African big-game safaris, Land Rover is the name that resonates in the mind.
Now Land Rover has decided to promote its brand further by selling that lifestyle to adventurous customers.
Land Rover now handles travel arrangements for select customers willing to pay a lot of money to go to exotic and beautiful places like Namibia, Morocco, Jordan, Belize, Colorado and England's Lake District. It will also provide the driving instruction, and sell you the clothing you need to feel comfortable in the wild.
'Some of these trips are unashamedly expensive,' said Andy Hurst, Land Rover director of product management. 'This is very low volume. It's more important to be seen to offer it.'
The trips range from 705 (A1,120) for a weekend trip at Skibo Castle in Scotland to 3,495 for a weeklong trip through the rain forest in Belize.
Not only will Land Rover arrange these trips for wealthy customers - and give instructions on how to drive through streams, mud, snow drifts, sand dunes and rock fields - it will also sell them the Land Rover brand boots hats, rain jackets or pile tops to wear in the wild. In fact, Land Rover did 7 million in apparel sales in 1999.