Simon Dransfield, Jaguar Land Rover: “There is no single right powertrain answer"
Fleet Europe met with Simon Dransfield who heads the European Fleet and Business department of Jaguar Land Rover and is in charge of the company’s B2B-sales in 42 countries in and around Europe, to talk about Jaguar and Land Rover as fleet brands and the launch of the brand new Jaguar I-Pace, the first European fully electric SUV on the market.
How important are fleet sales for JLR?
“Thanks to our new and expanded product portfolio, these last few years have meant a never before seen increase in fleet sales for both JLR-brands. Led by the Range Rover Evoque, the Jaguar XE and F-Pace, the last five years have seen us double the Land Rover sales figures and even multiplied the number of Jaguar fleet sales by five times. In order to give B2B-customers the service they deserve, we developed a significant Fleet Business Centre programme throughout Europe, with dedicated and trained personnel serving the fleet market in a professional manner. Along with our complimentary three year warranty and maintenance-programme, these investments have resulted in an increase of our residual values, to the benefit of our customers.”
The expectations for the Jaguar I-Pace, Europe’s first premium Battery Electric-SUV are high. Is this the first of a series of Jaguar EV’s and will other models such as the XE or E-Pace will be “electrified” too?
“We are very confident that the I-Pace will be the long anticipated answer for premium business customers wanting to combine environmental changes and fiscal advantages with genuine driving pleasure and practicality for everyday use. The I-Pace has been developed as a BEV from day 1, with its battery pack under the vehicle floor and its wheels placed at the utmost extremities of the car, assuring a low centre of gravity and lots of interior space. The design is unmistakeably Jaguar, as are the ride and handling.
As already announced, all new JLR cars will be ‘electrified’ from 2020. This means not only full EV’s but also hybridisation. However, it does not mean that we will abandon diesel and petrol engines. They remain very important and will do for years to come. You should know that we sell cars in more than 170 different countries, and not every one of them is ready for fully electric cars. There is no single right answer that fits everyone’s needs and circumstances. We’ll continue to offer a product for every need, and I can tell you that there are a lot more exciting new products to come.”
Which will be the most important markets for the I-Pace, volume-wise, and how will you position the car in the fleet market?
“Norway is Europe’s largest and most developed EV-market so it is of course a very important market for I-Pace. Furthermore, we expect a lot of I-Paces to go to The Netherlands and France, where EV’s are increasingly popular. We anticipate about fifty per cent of all I-Paces to be sold to B2B-customers.
Given the fact that we do not have our own leasing company, we see all existing leasing providers as strategic partners that can help us extend our volume opportunity. Most of them have already shared their thoughts on I-Pace and strongly endorsed its potential, with a very positive outlook towards the residual value, which will of course help us to be competitive for in terms of leasing rates. If you add the low SMR-costs of EVs to the equation, it is clear that I-Pace has what is needed to be successful in fleets.”