New boss shakes up Jaguar and Land Rover in Germany

Schwalbach, Germany. Jeffrey L. Scott, new managing director for Jaguar and Land Rover Germany, plans to shake up the two luxury brands' sales in the German market. The restoration of dealers' profitability is at the core of a planned package of measures.

New margins of between 10.5 and 20.5 percent will be offered to dealers, together with competitive leasing and financing offers that will be subsidized by the head office.

On top of that, Jaguar will quit the fleet market and will be newly positioned.

"Jaguar needs to focus on its core values, such as luxury, style, comfort and luxurious materials to be reestablished as a noble, English alternative to German premium brands," said Scott, who took up his new post in December.

Scott will clearly need to concentrate his attention on the Jaguar brand. With 4,666 vehicles sold in Germany in 2004, its unit sales dropped by 6.2 percent compared with 2003.

Scott is careful when talking about the targets for 2005, but says "we plan to sell 4,500 vehicles."

Comparatively, not a lot of work needs to be put in at Land Rover. Still, Scott has big plans for the cult, off-road brand.

"We need to modernize the image and we need to get into the on-road SUV market. I have no doubt that we will achieve this with the new Range Rover Sport," said Scott.

Scott also plans to tie top customers to the Land Rover brand by offering first-class service and new sales strategies.

Said Scott: "Those who pay up to 125,000 euros for a Range Rover with 400hp can expect to be advised in luxurious surroundings by perfectly trained sales personnel."

Scott expects to sell about 9,000 Land Rovers in Germany this year without offering discounts. Land Rover sold 7,304 vehicles in Germany in 2004.

Dealers are happy with the new approach. Said Manfred Hauswirth, Jaguar and Land Rover association spokesman: "These are steps in the right direction. We are very optimistic for the future."

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