Jaguar denies it has settled on plan to have fewer than 20 UK dealers

jlr south west london

Jaguar Land Rover plans to adopt the agency model in the UK by the end of 2024

But British brand admits switch to sell only EVs from 2025 will result in significant retail changes

Jaguar has denied reports that it has formalised plans to have just 20 UK dealerships or fewer when it begins its reinvention as an EV-only brand in 2025, saying it has yet to decide on its final retail structure.

Car Dealer reported last weekend that Jaguar will axe more than 60 UK dealers over the next two years as it pivots to the agency sales model. It said the manufacturer told its UK retail partners of the cuts at a recent investor’s meeting and that only 15 to 18 would remain.

Jaguar issued a statement in response denying that it had settled on the final level of dealership representation it would have. But it didn’t deny that there would be cuts.

In response to Autocar’s queries, it said: “Jaguar Land Rover is reimagining the future of modern luxury by design through its iconic British brands. As part of our Reimagine strategy, one of our key objectives is to establish new benchmark standards in customer service for the luxury sector.

“We will adapt our customer journey for our future clients, providing multiple touchpoints, delivering leading luxury experiences and creating a customer-centric culture.

“Our objective is to build a stronger and more sustainably profitable Jaguar and Land Rover network for the future. We are consulting with our retail partners on how we achieve this objective, but it is too early to disclose details due to their commercial nature.

“The first of the new all-electric Jaguars will be revealed before the end of 2024 and will be with customers in 2025. We will tell you more about Jaguar’s future before the end of this year.”

JLR UK sales director Paddy McGillycuddy last month confirmed to Autocar Business that the shift to the agency model and the House of Brands ethos would lead to “some consolidation” of the firm’s dealer network.

The new showroom design will have floor space divided between Jaguar and the Land Rover sub-brands Defender, Discovery and Range Rover.

This is a move away from the Arch plan that JLR dealers had previously been encouraged to adopt, with reports suggesting the facilities had cost upwards of £10 million each to develop.

The shift to the agency model comes as part of Jaguar’s bold plans to become a highly profitable Bentley rival from 2025, under former JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré’s Reimagine strategy

The relaunch will bring a line-up of three all-new electric SUVs, with a flagship model tipped to be priced from £120,000.

The new line-up is planned to give Jaguar an annual sales volume between 50,000 and 60,000 – on a par with the Range Rover alone in pre-pandemic 2019.

Interim JLR CEO Adrian Mardell confirmed in January that the plans were on schedule.

Transitioning to the agency model will give JLR full control of pricing, likely limiting discounts in a bid to boost profits as the shortage of new cars eases.

This is an increasingly relevant challenge for the firm, as it has struggled to remain profitable amid said shortages, despite the spike in its average sale value that these brought.

In the last three months of 2022, the company’s first profitable quarter since 2020, a focus on the high-margin Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Land Rover Defender had JLR’s average transaction value exceed £70,000.

Source: Autocar

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