JLR aims even higher


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Latest JLR dealership concepts are already being piloted in the UK : credit: © JLR
But the company admits it must fix the brand’s reliability issues as it moves away from volume sales to focus on luxury

In an interview with Car Dealer, Jaguar Land Rover admitted it must fix its unreliability issues if it’s to make its new sales strategy a success.

With plans to cut the number of dealers it has, it is also now focusing on selling fewer cars at a fixed price in a bid to become a luxury car maker and a no-haggle pricing policy will be implemented from late 2024. However, its cars regularly top unreliability surveys. In September, the What Car? Reliability Survey found the Discovery (2017-present) to be the most unreliable car in the UK.

Andrew Woolliscroft, client care director for JLR, admitted that the huge transformations the brand will be undergoing will be a ‘challenge’ – and said they won’t be a success unless it fixes its reliability problems: “We know our quality is not yet at the level where we can deliver that [luxury] experience, day in, day out. But we’re improving.

“We haven’t maybe been as robust as we would have wanted to be in procuring our parts – I’m not saying we pushed
stuff through too quickly, but naturally, if you’re focused just on volume, it will
have consequences.

“Our previous strategy was very much volume driven. Reimagined isn’t about volume, while it’s immensely important, it’s more about quality – quality of experience, quality product, quality profit over volume, and that has allowed an absolute refocus.”


Dealerships will change

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As part of its transformation plans, JLR will be cutting the number of physical dealers – although there is no word on numbers as yet.

Instead the car maker is implementing a ‘House of Brands’ strategy which will see dealerships split into different areas to focus on Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and, in some cases, Jaguar. Reception desks – what the firm calls ‘barriers’ for customers will be replaced with a barista-led coffee bar, while sales desks will be replaced with comfortable seating. Pilot schemes are already taking place around the country, and even the music and scents are being updated to reflect the firm’s new focus on luxury.

Acting UK managing director Patrick McGillycuddy confirmed the brand had been forced to change its business model as competitors from China head to the UK with an influx of electric cars.

He said: “There is a lot of change happening. It is more profound than anything in the 100-150 year history of our industry – petrol and diesel to electric, hardware to software, and the amount of new disruptors we are seeing, particularly from China, will mean a phenomenal change.

“So, when you think about our strategy, we knew we had to change, we knew we had to start to do things differently.”

Customers will also be able to buy a new car online, and part-exchanges will be handled by the manufacturer, the details for which are still being decided.


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