Why Victoria Beckham is right for Range Rover

Range Rover grabbed a sure-fire headline when it revealed the Evoque last week.

Victoria Beckham Designs New Baby Range Rover.

Yup, Mrs Beckham was the surprise celeb who stepped up alongside Land Rover design God Gerry McGovern; in a few seconds, she was turned from mere celeb into Range Rover Creative Design Executive.

Step aside Murat Gunak and Luc Donckerwolke, Victoria’s here to show you how it’s done! Needless to say, commentary over said decision soon came via the net.

What does she know about car design was the general consensus, filtering out the obscenities. Madness, they said: Land Rover, what are you doing?

Sure enough, Ms. Becks ensured the 2011 Range Rover Evoque became news the following day. ‘Victoria becomes car designer’ was splashed everywhere went, in handy economy with the truth. ‘Victoria designs new Range Rover’, they continued. ‘Victoria reinvents the 4-wheel-drives’ they could have carried on.

So, what does she know about car design? To be honest, probably nothing. She doesn’t need to, though. Land Rover has car designers for that.

Instead, what she’s bringing is (ahem) posh market insight.

Posh advises on posh for the posh

Range Rover held its 40th anniversary (and Evoque reveal) bash in association with Vogue magazine, at posh Kensington Palace (it of Princess Diana fame). Celebs duly attended not because of the car, but because other celebs and famed types were.

As all they were, so too were the photographers. And the TV channels. And the celeb reporters. And… well, you get the idea. VB was right at home, and the Evoque was granted instant premium gravitas as a result.

Now, on the night, Gerry McGovern’s explanatory words may have sounded reluctant lip service, but they in fact reveal why she’s there. Edited down, they’re a great insight:

Design and trends… understands luxury products… owned Range Rovers in the past… her products bought by women… new dimension… wider audience.

This is a Range Rover for women. Posh, beautiful women, who like Jimmy Choo shoes and other posh things a male journo can’t ever hope to understand.

We are not in the least bit qualified to offer commentary on what the market likes and hates here. McGovern maybe isn’t, either. For that, you need someone who does mix in those circles. Such as VB.

She won’t be drawing the cars. Gerry McGovern probably doesn’t draw the cars anymore, either; he directs others, provides the framework, the inspiration, the leadership. With her own luxocelebfeminine agenda, this is what Beckham will be doing, too.

I reckon it’s a bit of a forward-thinking coup. Knock Brand Beckham if you like, but there’s no doubting it’s effective.

Besides, Range Rover did something identical years back, and we didn’t slate it so then. Indeed, today, the Vogue Range Rovers remain on sale and are the ones motoring journos hope for in press fleets (it’s always amusing to step from a Kia Picanto into something with Wilton carpet mats).

Anyway, all these posh people paying premium prices for Range Rovers means they can be created at such vast expense and given the pricey technical features that so wow we car nuts. We all thus benefit!

Thanks, VB.

UPDATE – April 2012: Range Rover Evoque Special Edition with Victoria Beckham

At the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, Range Rover finally released a genuine ‘Victoria Beckham Evoque’. It’s a very special special edition, is expected to cost £80k, and is revealed in full in my piece for MSN Cars…

+ Do you think Victoria Beckham and Range Rover is a smart move?
+ Is this a good or bad way for Land Rover to broaden its market?
+ Are there any other examples of celebs getting involved in car design?