Rolls Royce Cullinan A Stretch? Maybe An Overfinch Will Do.
“There’s always the rich willing to pay huge amounts for limited edition Ferraris or Bugattis”
You’ve bought the country estate, there’s a helicopter on the lawn and you’ve signed up for the polo team, but there’s not quite enough cash left to buy a Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV so maybe the Range Rover Overfinch is the answer to complete the lifestyle.
Overfinch takes top of the pile Range Rovers and adds various enhancements with Rolls Royce and Bentley levels of quintessential British upmarket quality and workmanship. There are styling cues on the bodywork with carbon fiber on the air intakes and spoiler. The sound of the engine is improved. The wheels are unique. Inside the luxury level is high with talk of veneers, traditional burr walnut and exotic piano black mother-of-pearl inlays. The latest version boasts so-called “Lumiere” seats trimmed in leather from the Scottish Bridge of Weir tannery, or you can go for “responsibly-sourced” ostrich hide.
“For 2018, the iconic Range Rover has been taken to a new level of exclusivity and individuality, executed with a precision and attention to detail that no other conversion company can equal,” Overfinch chairman Kevin Sloane said in an interview.
The Range Rover Overfinch has been available in the U.S. for a couple of years, and prices start at $150,000 and rise depending on the level of individuality demanded. Prices for the Bentley Bentayga SUV start at around $200,000, while the Rolls Royce Cullinan starts at $325,000, and probably finishes closer to a $500,000. The top priced Range Rover on the U.S. market is the long wheel base SVAutobiography with a supercharged 5.0 liter 557 hp V8 engine priced at $207,900 before tax.
U.S. buyers of the Overfinch 2018 will mostly go for the gasoline V8 but some order diesel engines or might go for the upcoming hybrid model. A 2018 Overfinch Long Wheel Base supercharged V8 starts at $280,000.
“Our cars are subtly different and enhance the look of the original design with exterior and interior quality enhancement,” Sloane said.
Overfinch, based in the British northern city of Leeds, has big ambitions.
“The U.K. is our strongest market where we sell about 300 a year with another 200 internationally. There’s a key opportunity to grow in the U.S. and we’re very excited about that and we’d like to get up to 500 a year there within 3 to 5 years,” Sloane said.
Overfinch managed 80 U.S. sales in 2017, the first year there, and if they rise to 500 in 5 years, that would take the global sales to 1,500.
Overfinch has been in the enhancement business since 1975. Early versions often included more powerful new engines and brakes, but now the changes are more cosmetic.
“We don’t do new engines and now it is largely an exterior styling exercise with a lot of use of carbon fiber and a range of luxury interiors with lovely styling patterns. We do a performance exhaust system, but we’re not doing anything mechanical, although we could do tweaks by customer request,” Sloane said.
Why give up the segment?
Overfinch’s plans beg the question, why would Range Rover give up a highly profitable niche segment?
Peter Schmidt, editor of respected European newsletter Automotive Industry Data (AID), points to other enhancement companies that didn’t stay the course.
“AMG used to tart up some top of the range Mercedes, put a big badge on it and make a handsome profit. Mercedes decided it was something they could do themselves so they bought AMG, and now the badge appears on a wide range of Mercedes. There were quite a few specialist companies doing this in Germany, with Audi even Opel, but now I think there is just Alpina with BMW,” Schmidt said.
Last year Alpina sold 299 enhanced BMW’s, according to AID.
“There’s are always the rich willing to pay huge amounts for limited edition Ferraris or Bugattis, but this brand is not very well known,” Schmidt said.
Overfinch’s Sloane doesn’t seem worried though.
“I think the manufacturer (Range Rover owned by Jaguar Land Rover) fully acknowledges there is an aftermarket and quite considerable demand for enhancement and tries to work with companies like ours,” Sloan said.