Jaguar's U.S. sales are improving, but dealers still need help getting more customers in their stores.
New products such as the F-Type helped the brand's showroom traffic improve some in 2013, but Jaguar still is far from top of mind with luxury shoppers, said Michael Levitan, chairman of the Jaguar Land Rover Dealer Cabinet, which was formed in 2013 by merging the Jaguar and Land Rover dealer councils.
"We will have challenges with floor traffic, with having customers put Jaguar on their shopping list," said Levitan, who owns two Jaguar-Land Rover stores on Long Island in New York. "That is still our large challenge."
Jaguar sold 16,952 vehicles in the United States in 2013. That was a 41 percent jump for the year, but Jaguar is still well below its record year of 61,204 in 2002.
Improving marketing and increasing customer awareness is the top priority for dealers in 2014, Levitan said. He said he hopes brand executives will announce an increase in the marketing budget at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention.
Dealership profitability is getting better but needs to improve in 2014, he said.
The launch of the F-Type coupe is a bright spot for this year. Said Levitan: "We would like to, No. 1, square away some marketing for the Jaguar brand and look for a consistent message we can carry forward."