Land Rover worked with Webasto to develop the Evoque convertible's sophisticated, five-layered folding fabric roof, which the automaker says is the longest and widest fitted on any open-top model currently on sale.
Convertible roof specialist Webasto says automakers are keeping a very close eye on the new Range Rover Evoque cabriolet.
“If it generates strong interest with customers there are a number of automakers that a ready to jump into the market,” said Holger Engelmann, CEO of Webasto, which supplies the Evoque’s folding softtop. “It is possible that we will see a few more models coming with this feature in the future.”
Land Rover expects the convertible to account for about 15 percent of the Evoque's global volume, which means about 20,000 units. The convertible will be sold in 170 countries. Land Rover expects that the UK, Germany and the U.S. will be the best markets for the car.
Land Rover worked with Webasto to develop the convertible’s sophisticated, five-layered folding fabric roof, which the automaker says is the longest and widest fitted on any open-top model currently on sale.
Engelmann said the earliest that the Evoque cabrio could expect to see a rival is in one to three years. If the convertible crossover becomes the next big thing, Webasto is ready.
“We hope this starts a new trend and that we get to participate in this trend,” Engelmann said at the German supplier’s annual press conference in Munich on Tuesday.
Ready for Google
When I asked him what Webasto and other suppliers need to do to prepare for orders from customers such as Google, Apple and Uber he said: “We need to be faster.”
He said those companies are not used to the longer development times that are common for the automotive industry, but he added that those companies are not used to being asked by customers to deliver a product that will last for up 10 to 20 years. He foresee both sides having to make adjustments to find a solid middle ground.