BEIJING -- Chris Brown is like a kid in a toy shop.
The 39-year-old general manager of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands in China has a new group of consumers with whom to play. They're not like the Midwesterners to whom Brown marketed the familiar luxury brands before he moved to Shanghai a few months ago.
In the United States, Brown says, both brands are well established and don't require much introduction to potential buyers. Not so in China: Land Rover has been around for only a few years, and Jaguar was launched just last year.
"Overall brand awareness is much lower than in the U.S. and Europe," Brown says. "I'm excited to be here at the beginning, when we are building a foundation."
In China a Range Rover costs 1.26 million yuan, or about $157,300 at current exchange rates. A Jaguar XJL can sell for $161,000.
Brown says Jaguar and Land Rover will introduce only their top models to China.
Land Rover sold 601 vehicles in China in the first seven months of 2005, the company says. Brown aims to sell more than 1,000 Land Rovers this year.
The 2006 Range Rover and new Range Rover Sport are joining the Freelander and Discovery on the market here this year.
In the first seven months of 2005, Jaguar sold 356 cars in China, the company says.
In March, Jaguar launched the XJ8 L with an event near the Great Wall of China. Jaguar introduced its first model, the XJ sedan, in China in April 2004. It launched the S-Type sedan in August 2004.