Sales of the latest addition to Land Rover's luxury 4x4 line up are booming, a leading motor dealer has said.
Inchcape is selling every Range Rover Sport that it can get its hands on, chief executive Peter Johnson said yesterday.
The car, which is aimed at getting Land Rover into the sportier segment of the off-road market, went on sale in the last few few weeks at on- the- road prices ranging from #35,000 to #59,000.
Mr Johnson said in a pre-close period trading statement that Range Rover Sport and the BMW 3-series, which had earlier been in short supply, were selling strongly.
"Those are very successful models and we're selling every vehicle we can get our hands on," he added.
Inchcape sells Land Rovers via franchises at Derby, Bristol, Glasgow, Kings Lynn, Norwich and Southampton.
Land Rover took some 4,000 advance orders for the Sport and the UK dealer allocation has been taken up until the end of the year.
The company is not yet giving out firm sales figures, but a spokesman said: "It is doing very well and is perhaps exceeding expectations.
" It is the top specification model that people are buying."
Land Rover is currently bucking the downward trend in car sales so far this year, particularly in the tough American market, thanks to the success of the third generation Discovery launched late last year.
The Solihull company should do even better when registrations of the Sport start trickling through into the official industry sales figures.
This should be good news for Land Rover, which is under pressure from parent group Ford to improve the build quality of its cars and the efficiency of the Lode Lane factory.
Inchcape, which has a strong international element to its business, said trading had been in line with expectations so far this year.
The company, which reports its interim results on 1 August, said it had paid out #31 million of its planned #65 million share buyback programme.
Mr Johnson said that while sales of prestige cars to businesses remained strong, the market among private buyers for smaller vehicles had softened.
Inchcape's results will be closely scrutinised by analysts looking for clues to the state of the economy as interest rate rises dampen spending on the part of consumers.