Whenever car manufacturers make the slightest changes to their products they usually can’t stop talking about them. Even such minor changes as new exterior colors or wheel styles always tend to make press releases, magazines and car blogs . So it is especially surprising that Land Rover, maker of luxury SUVs, released a marketing bulletin to their dealers last week saying that the supercharged 3.0L gasoline V6 is being revised from the current displacement of 2,995cc to 3,012cc for 2016.5 model year.
To people that know cars such a minor bump in engine displacement, 17cc, would seem so insignificant & unusual that one would wonder why go through the trouble. The bulletin makes no mention power boost, increase in efficiency or emission. However because Land Rover is changing the 7th position of the VIN from “V” to “P” it suggests that Land Rover wants to make sure the change in noted and is potentially trying to protect its profits.
How you may ask?
Land Rovers are notorious for being a very popular vehicles for exporters into the Chinese market. While small bump in displacement makes no difference to the US consumer, this same vehicle if imported in China would be subjected to 50% higher import duty. 3000cc is an important threshold for cars in the Chinese market, cars that go over the symbolic figure are subjected to a tax as high 90%. This displacement boost is likely designed prevent importers from buying SUVs at cheaper prices in US and reselling at high profit in China, where similar cars can be double or triple the cost. BMW made a similar change in 2014 to its popular 3.0 turbo motors, likely for the same reasons.