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Jaguar refocuses corporate philosophy

Date: 24 March 2011   |   Author:

Jaguar is re-channelling its corporate efforts to reflect its current product line-up, with the goal of moving to a more personal offering.

"We had a [wholly] separate fleet organisation when we were 'in the volume' of X-type, and as that ceased production and we've replaced the volume with XF, there's less of a corporate presence," Jaguar's UK boss Geoff Cousins told BusinessCar. "Our presence has shifted from corporate to retail."

Jaguar's fleet sales totalled 6101 in 2010, compared with 9113 in 2009 and 10,485 in 2008, when it still had the upper medium X-type model, rather than the range starting with the executive XF sector as it now does. "With the X-type, fleet was 50% of volume; we're probably now at 10% with the XF," said Cousins.

The lack of a smaller diesel is hampering Jaguar's corporate efforts, with the 2.0-litre 520d accounting for around 70% of BMW's sales in the executive sector, while the XF range doesn't currently go below a 3.0-litre diesel. There has been speculation that Jaguar will introduce a smaller diesel engine, and Cousins described extensions to the product portfolio as "not a lifetime away", saying a smaller diesel could push the XF's fleet ration up to around 35%.

In the early part of this year, Jaguar revamped its organisation, and the corporate and retail sales were pulled together, both reporting into national sales director David Lewis.

"I was concerned that in a company like Jaguar, depending on the definition of business or fleet, we could have retail and fleet guys chasing the same customer," said Cousins. "We had six people in the field and spent a lot of time prospecting and cold-calling, and I didn't think it worked for a company like Jaguar."

The idea now is to cultivate relationships with smaller numbers but larger companies. "We now have a couple of people working on direct sales, talking to CEOs and chiefs of the market," he continued. "If we can get a CEO on board, we've got another influence rather than just the transport manager and we're getting into companies through a personal invite."

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