Mr Simpson, 76, was killed while trying to stop Christopher Grenfell stealing the car from the driveway of his home in Ashgill, South Lanarkshire, in November last year.
Grenfell's conviction at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday for the murder of the former lorry driver has again put car crime in the spotlight.
Grenfell, 25, who had his plea of culpable homicide rejected, had claimed in evidence the luxury four-wheel-drive vehicle was "stolen to order" and he had received £1500 for his role in the theft.
He said he was going to split the money with another man.
As the killer began a minimum 17-year prison sentence, one vehicle security expert revealed the Discovery, which can sell on the second-hand market for up to £40,000, is one of the leading black market vehicles as Scotland and the rest of the UK come under attack from organised car theft gangs.
Other prestige models targeted include BMWs and Audis, while the more mundane Ford Transit vans are stolen on the orders of criminal gangs across Western Europe and exported to countries as far afield as Albania. Parts, including those containing precious metals, and engines are often sold on around the globe.
Mike Briggs, research manager for car security firm Thatcham, said the industry was "under attack".
He added: "It's not only the UK, it's the whole of Western Europe. You've got serious organised crime gangs working across Western Europe and they are now coming to the UK, basically to steal vehicles to order.
"The game's changed a little bit. It's not so much what's most vulnerable, it's what's required. So things like Range Rovers and Land Rovers are being sought after, Fords – Fiestas and Transit vans – and BMWs and Audis.
Mr Briggs said: "What's happening at the moment is we're seeing a lot of vehicles stolen purely for their parts.
"You have globally identical makes and models, therefore those parts in any market will fit any other car.
"So if I can steal vehicles for their component parts, I can then sell those parts off cheaper than the manufacturers themselves and make a 100% profit because I'm not buying the parts in the first place."
Mr Briggs said demand was coming from increasingly affluent markets in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Far East and the Middle East, depending on the vehicle being stolen.
He added that he had seen the car theft industry undergo a "dramatic change" in the last year, with the methods of theft also becoming more sophisticated.
He said: "You did see it in the past but not to the scale it is now. Even though car crime has dropped from 620,000 cars a year at its peak to around 100,000 now, those vehicles are being targeted in new ways.
"Most will not be recovered. Depending what the vehicle is it will be exported as a whole vehicle or exported as parts, whereby the components will be shipped abroad and the body shell cut up and scrapped so that nobody will be able to find it.
"At the same time, while there has been equipment around for ages now where the thief will block the signal from the key fob back to the vehicle, that was normally for theft from the car rather than actually stealing the car itself.
"Now there's been technical advances and thieves are able to steal the car."
Grenfell's conviction comes after Strathclyde Police launched a four-month car crime campaign that promised a £200 reward for information leading to arrests and the recovery of vehicles, and helped to net a "sophisticated and professional" ring of car thieves in Lanarkshire.
CID officers are investigating a possible connection with a national British car theft operation, where stolen vehicles have their identities disguised with false documentation and chassis identification numbers.
Since the initiative launched in April, the force has solved or recovered £80,000 worth of car thefts including three cars worth a combined total of £30,000.
Police advise householders to hide their car keys as thieves are increasingly breaking into properties to search for keys to cars left on driveways.
Contextual targeting label: