Jaguar Land Rover wants dualed stores
Effort coincides with store-improvement plan
Jaguar Land Rover North America is encouraging dealers to do buy/sell agreements that result in more stores that handle both franchises.
The push for Jaguar-Land Rover duals will dovetail with the launch of a facilities improvement program for Jaguar.
"The sweet spot for us is when we get Jaguar and Land Rover together at the same location with the same owner," said Andy Goss, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America. "With sports cars, GTs, sedans and a full range of SUVs, you are guaranteed to make money -- only a fool wouldn't."
There are 165 Jaguar stores and 167 Land Rover stores in the United States, including 27 exclusive Jaguar and 72 exclusive Land Rover stores. Only 55 stores house both brands. "In all the rest of the situations, one of those brands is dualed with someone else," said Goss.
Jaguar Land Rover can't force dealers to buy or sell their stores under franchise laws. But Goss said the company will try to "get two parties to get together wherever there is an obvious and logical business opportunity."
The Jaguar facilities program will be launched in the second quarter.
"Even in separate locations, this is the year we have to be more robust and Jaguar will have to go through a corporate identity change," said Goss.
Jaguar is completing a new corporate design for its stores but has not released details.
Goss said the brand badly needs a common look for its stores, especially since competing Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW have all revamped the appearance of dealerships in recent years. Jaguar has not had a facilities program for decades. Land Rover dealers shifted to the Land Rover Centre in the 1990s and the look is still consistent, said Goss.
Unlike Mercedes-Benz's Autohaus facilities program, Goss says Jaguar won't try to force dealers to participate by offering payments or incentives only to those who agree. Mercedes-Benz paid a bonus of $400 per vehicle for three years to dealers who built or improved stores to the Autohaus standard. Those payments have expired, but Autohaus dealers now get extra bonus percentage points.
Before joining Jaguar Land Rover last fall, the Englishman ran Porsche's company-owned stores in the United Kingdom as CEO of Porsche Cars Great Britain for 12 years.
Said Goss: "I am not going to cheese these dealers off, having come from that background myself."
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