NEW ORLEANS -- Jaguar is increasing its marketing spending by 20 percent this year as it seeks to increase awareness and showroom traffic.
A key to keeping the brand's sales momentum going is Jaguar's first-ever Super Bowl commercial, which touts a new variant of the F-Type two-door.
Jaguar and Land Rover dealers got a preview of the 60-second commercial "Rendezvous" that was to air Sunday, Feb. 2. It stars three Brits portraying bad boys on film -- Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Hiddleston -- and was directed by Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper. The commercial promotes the F-Type coupe that goes on sale in April.
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.
A hundred dealers met with company management in lieu of a make meeting during the NADA convention.
A 30-second teaser commercial on YouTube was already creating buzz and luring more shoppers into showrooms, said Michael Levitan, chairman of the Jaguar Land Rover Retailer Cabinet. The cabinet was formed in 2013 by merging the Jaguar and Land Rover dealer councils. Levitan owns two Jaguar-Land Rover stores on New York's Long Island.
Joe Eberhardt, the new president of Jaguar Land Rover North America, made his first NADA appearance in the job he took in mid-December. Eberhardt told dealers he would unveil his strategy for the two British brands in the coming months. He laid out a four-pronged formula for the two nameplates: strong brands; strong products; strong management in the United States and the United Kingdom, and strong retailers.
"He said it is the early days, and these are four areas for success for the business," said Chris Mar-chand, executive vice president of operations for Jaguar Land Rover North America.
Levitan said dealers were reassured Eberhardt will focus on increasing dealer profitability, "which is dear to all of our hearts."
Farrar Vaughan, president of Jaguar Land Rover Bluff City, Tenn., and the NADA representative for Jaguar, said meeting Eberhardt was "part of the reason I came here -- and the ad is something different and thinks outside of the box."
Dealers were also told that the redesigned Range Rover and Range Rover Sport would continue to be in short supply because of high worldwide demand. Levitan said there is a six-month waiting list for both vehicles.