Jaguar Land Rover has posted record sales in 2016. From 583,000 units last year, the group wants to reach 1 million cars by 2021. That is an impressively ambitious target, which for the biggest part needs to be realised by Jaguar. We spoke to the group’s General Manager Fleet & Business Europe, Simon Dransfield, during the European presentation of the new Land Rover Discovery.
Mr Dransfield, what is your strategy to conquer the European fleet market?
“First of all, our product offering will continue to grow. We are now present in more segments than ever before, allowing us to reach a broader group of customers. The best example is the Jaguar F-Pace, which proves very successful in fleet thanks to its unique, premium characteristics combined with competitive TCO numbers. Strong residual values and lower SMR costs are at the heart of our success. Over the next years, our portfolio will expand even further and include products which we believe will have a bright future, such as the electric Jaguar I-Pace and a plug-in hybrid powertrain across both brands, starting with the Range Rover Sport next year. Apart from that, we will be moving into new markets and invest in a strong fleet sales structure.”
The new Discovery has just been launched. What makes it a more interesting car than its predecessor?
“The Discovery has always been the perfect synthesis between capability, versatility and value. This fifth generation takes these aspects to the next level to become the most practical and capable family SUV in its class, offering seven real seats spread over three rows. As the third row sits higher than the second, passengers enjoy a good forward view. Also, the new Discovery weighs 450 kilos less than its predecessor, making it much more dynamic and lowering its fuel consumption considerably. In the case of the 2-litre Ingenium diesel model, the Discovery emits 159 g/km of CO2, which is quite competitive in this class – and so is the service interval of 24 months or 34,000 km. Regarding residual values, they are rock solid, as Eurotax Glass’s data show. The generous standard equipment, which for instance includes our advanced connected infotainment system, surely contributes to the Discovery’s strong performance.”
What are the areas of innovation in which Jaguar Land Rover will be investing in over the next years?
“We strongly believe in electrification. We had some catching up to do, but with the considerable investment that the group has received, we will be in a leadership position soon. The Jaguar I-Pace will be ready by next year – before all of our premium competitors. It will certainly contribute to the change of perception of the Jaguar brand, which has moved away from conservative and baroque towards sophisticated and innovating. That makes it all the more acceptable and attractive as a company car, opening the door to car policies that until now were reserved to the mainstream brands. On top of that, we keep a close eye on how the market is evolving in terms of mobility needs and business models. I am convinced that those who can adapt themselves the fastest to change, will ultimately be the most successful.“