JLR boss admits firm must be better in fleet
With two new entry-level models set to open the door for more corporate sales at Jaguar Land Rover, managing director Jeremy Hicks has been looking at how the firm can perform better in fleet.
The firm has just introduced a lower-powered version of the existing 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel in the XF saloon, while a front-wheel drive version of the Range Rover Evoque using a detuned diesel unit is available to order now.
Both models bring reduced CO2 emissions and lower front-end prices, making them attractive to user-choosers who will want to stretch their monthly allowance to allow them to have a premium badge car.
The two new vehicles give Jaguar and Land Rover a better chance of competing with their mostly German premium rivals in the key executive and SUV markets.
Hicks said: ‘We need to focus on the corporate market, which we haven’t been doing significantly.
‘We’re working on what that means, and it has got be credible.’
Hicks has ruled out a combined fleet sales approach from the two brands, suggesting that the two brands have to stand on their own two feet, although there may be ‘synergies in a dual approach’.
While there is undoubtedly momentum with Land Rover, it will remain very heavily retail based for sales, according to Hicks, but for Jaguar there is more potential, especially as it now offers a four-cylinder diesel in the executive market. ‘That’s 60% of the market’, added Hicks, who also revealed that the XF would not be offered with a manual gearbox option to lower emissions further.
Hicks said the JLR dealer network had been "buoyed" by the new products, adding: ‘We have not been consistent in our pipeline of product in the past, but now that pipeline is stuffed full.
‘We need to have a consistent corporate sales programme for Jaguar, such as having cars in certain dealers and a dedicated person on site to offer demonstrations and information The dealer network wants that sort of thing.’
Hicks has also been in conversation with the leading lease firms and reports a ‘thirst’ for JLR product. He added: ‘We have got to respond to that, but we will not do volume and at price – we’ve got to be a credible choice of end-users,' he added.