Why are these not Land Rovers?

I went past Icon Autos in Dubai the other day and saw all these new Toyotas lined up, having been prepped by Icon for the UN. I’ve no idea how the ‘line of supply’ works, but given the thin tires I expect they aren’t going to be staying around the sand but will be heading off to muddier places.

Apparently the guys at Icon add the radio masts and roof racks, change the bumper and add a winch.


I’m surprised the bumper needs to be changed to have a winch added or to improve the approach angle – given the nature of the vehicles I’d have thought that it would make sense to ship them with a bumper suited to the environment they’d be used in, which was ready to have a winch fitted.
I must do some research to find out exactly which models are being shipped here. I recognize the pickup, which is widely available in Dubai (although strangely the short wheel base and long wheel base cab versions aren’t, although they are in Saudi). I’m surprised to see two different roof heights – when would you order the smaller roof over the taller? Toyotas range of vehicles amazes me – look at the general SUV market alone and you’ll see the Land Cruiser ‘jelly mould’ shape with various levels of trim, the ‘square’ Land Cruiser versions, the Fortuner, the Prado – so many models, often seemingly with not much between them. They’re all selling well though, in this part of the world at least.
And why doesn’t the UN order Land Rovers? I know, I know, a common theme in this blog. Is it that Land Rovers are simply too expensive or too unreliable? Do they not bother to make a vehicle that organisations like the UN need? Given the number of Toyotas and Patrols I’ve seen in Africa, Land Rover seem to be doing something seriously wrong, or maybe they’ve just given up on that slice of the market.

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