Adrian Mardell, the head of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), has vehemently refuted assertions that the Range Rover is the UK’s most stolen car.

Responding to recent reports on soaring insurance costs for UK Range Rover owners, Mardell accused the insurance industry of not considering all relevant data when determining coverage and premiums.

In a press briefing following JLR’s latest financial results announcement, Mardell challenged the portrayal of the Range Rover as the most stolen vehicle, calling it “misinformation” and a “myth.”

He argued that the insurance industry had unfairly singled out his company and claimed that the Range Rover “is not ‘Britain’s most stolen vehicle.'”

The controversy follows reports, including by Bloomberg, citing data from the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, stating that the Range Rover Velar model was the most stolen car in the year to March 2023, with over 2% of reported vehicles stolen. The surge in car thefts, particularly of luxury models like Range Rovers, has raised concerns among carmakers about potential impacts on demand.

Mardell highlighted that thefts of Range Rovers had decreased by 27% last year compared to 2022, and he emphasised the enhanced security of new models.

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According to police data, only 11 out of 12,800 of the latest Range Rover model were reported stolen.

To address the security concerns, JLR announced a £10 million investment in vehicle security, specifically targeting keyless thefts. The company has already spent £15 million updating older vehicles with new security software, preventing thieves from cloning remote car keys. Mardell also mentioned that JLR is collaborating with the government to advocate for changes in laws regarding technology used by criminal gangs, deeming it illegal.

Additionally, JLR provided statistics on the security of its newer models. Vehicles manufactured from 2022 onwards, equipped with advanced electrical architecture, experienced theft rates of only 0.07% for new Range Rover and Range Rover Sports and 0.3% for new Defenders.

While Mardell criticised the insurance industry for being slow to respond to data, he assured that JLR would continue to invest in anti-theft measures to protect its clients. The company urged clients to use available security features, including the Jaguar and Land Rover ‘Remote’ apps, and to ensure that security updates are completed through authorised retailers.

The debate around the Range Rover’s vulnerability to theft adds another layer to the broader industry concern over rising car theft rates and their potential implications for luxury car demand.