Jaguar Land Rover is pinning its hopes on the fleet market for another bumper year in 2016, writes Gareth Herincx
Jaguar Land Rover’s UK sales director Chris Newitt is looking forward to another record-breaking year in 2016 and reckons his company’s main growth will come in the fleet market.
November 2015 was JLR’s best-ever November with retail sales of 46,547 vehicles – up 27 per cent on the same month in 2014. The company sold 437,512 vehicles in the first 11 months of 2015, four per cent up on the same period in the previous year.
In a hectic year, Jaguar’s important new executive cars, the XE and XF, were launched, while over at Land Rover, the Discovery Sport hit the road. The company’s new efficient Ingenium engines were also introduced across the JLR range.
More new models will appear in 2016, including two firsts – Jaguar’s first SUV in the shape of the F-PACE, and the world’s first luxury open-top 4×4, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible.
“For us at Jaguar Land Rover the main growth will come in fleet,” explains Newitt. “We are strong in retail and we’ll strengthen further with the launch of F-PACE. Fleet growth will undoubtedly follow.”
However, Newitt says the company’s recent success is not just down to new cars. “I think the secret is having a plan that goes beyond product. We have enhanced or transformed all areas of our business and will continue to do so.
“The £11bn of investment since 2009 has been spent to give us this platform for growth. We then combine that with the investment our retail partners have been prepared to make and we have managed to deliver a truly compelling set of results.”
Recent Jaguar fleet gains include chauffeur deals with Crawfords of London for 50 flagship Jaguar XJs, while Portfolio Executive is replacing its fleet of Mercedes-Benz cars with 20 XFs and XJs.
Jaguar’s international focus
And what are Newitt’s JLR cars to watch in the fleet market during 2016?
“Undoubtedly the obvious ones to pick are XE and XF, but I am confident that the 2016 Evoque and Discovery Sport will also grow [in popularity] significantly now that they fall below the key 130g/km CO2 threshold. On top of that the F-PACE will also be very popular – particularly with SMEs.”
Newitt’s also sure he knows the formula for success in the fleet market. “It is very easy to focus on the rational reasons for buying a car in the fleet market; running costs, emissions, insurance ratings etc and these are hugely important as they will determine whether your products are considered.
“But there is still a huge part that is based on customer service, relationships and passion and desire for the products. You have to have all of it to be truly successful.”
Of course, Jaguar Land Rover doesn’t just rely on the UK and Newitt is equally bullish about the international scene.
“We have seen growth in pretty much all markets across the world, and we have a very balanced global portfolio between the traditional western markets and the emerging markets.
“Some individual markets have definitely had tougher times than others but all regions are showing healthy growth.”
Following a successful 2015, Newitt is also frank about Jaguar Land Rover’s prospects: “I know we can do even better in 2016.”