Jaguar and Land Rover are two of the world's best-known prestige car brands, as well as being among the last survivors of what was once the British automobile industry, even though they are no longer British-owned. After several rather unhappy years within the Ford portfolio, they were acquired in 2008 by Tata Group of India, a huge conglomerate with interests in numerous sectors including low cost trucks and passenger cars in its domestic market. Jaguar Land Rover plc now operates as a standalone unit within that substantial group, and is its only luxury car business, very much the jewel in Tata's crown. The greater freedom it enjoys under Tata's ownership allowed Jaguar Land Rover to thrive, and it had reported record performance for several years until the later 2010s. Sales peaked at £25.8bn in ye Mar 2018, having almost quadrupled in six years. Combined unit sales topped 614k that year, a best-ever result. However, performance has weakened significantly since then, with revenues slipping in each of the subsequent years, and settling at £19.7m for ye 2021. Unit sales have also plummeted, especially for Jaguar, with combined sales falling by a third to 440k cars in ye 2021. That decline was initially the result of a steep decline in China, previously the company's biggest market. (Operations there are a joint venture with Chery). More recently the fall was exacerabted by the Covid pandemic. The company has reported net losses every year since 2019. The figure of £1.1bn in ye 2021 brought the combined three-year deficit to almost £4.9bn. However, one positive has been that sales in China have improved - it was once again the company's biggest market in ye 2021 at 111k units, narrowly ahead of the US (102k) and UK (83k). Unit sales for Land Rover were 342k, to 98k for Jaguar. (The Jaguar figure was down 30% on the year before). In 2019 unconfirmed rumours began to circulate that Tata Motors was considering a sale of the business, but no further developments have materialised. However, in early 2020, CEO Ralf Speth announced plans to step down by the end of the year. His successor is Thierry Bolloré (coincidentally the cousin of Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré). The Jaguar brand was first introduced in Britain after World War II for a line of premium saloons and sports cars. After passing through several different owners, including British Leyland, it was privatised in 1984, but acquired by Ford five years later. Mainstream car manufacturer Rover Cars was also part of British Leyland for several years. It had first introduced its all-terrain Land Rover in 1948. Following the break-up of Leyland, Rover was eventually acquired by BMW. Land Rover was sold on to Ford in 2000.
Capsule checked 16th September 2021
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Marketer Moves 13th Jul 2021: New chief commercial officer at Jaguar Land Rover. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 11th Jan 2019: Jaguar Land Rover announced the loss of 6,000 jobs worldwide - around 15% of its workforce - as a result of a series of dramatic reversals including a 40% plunge in sales in China in the wake of falling consumer confidence, as well as taxes on diesel cars and economic uncertainty in Europe. "Challenges have not come singularly or in pairs but in hordes," said CEO Ralf Speth. The company's UK HQ is likely to suffer the largest share of the cuts.
Adbrands Social Media 2nd Aug 2018: The latest from inhouse agency Spark 44 for Land Rover is a fine bit of documentary filmmaking, with some luminous photography in and around the India-Nepal border. There's no witty underlying concept (like the last spot of theirs we featured with a bunch of adventure-hungry kids) but it does an excellent job of selling the benefits of the original rough-road workhorse model of the car. It's one of the few vehicles that can cope with the treacherous terrain up in Maneybhanjang, "the place where all roads meet". Our only gripe would be that the sales pitch is laid on a bit too thickly at times: how many times is it really necessary to repeat the words Land Rover in three minutes? Or say how tough and confident you have to be to drive one? That's all fine up in the Himalayas but hardly applies in Chelsea or the Upper West Side.
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st May 2018: Jaguar Land Rover reshuffled its marketing department. Chief marketing officer Felix Brautigam moves up to a newly created position of chief commercial officer, with Fiona Pargeter named as customer experience director, overseeing PR, marketing communications and experiential. The role of global CMO is being scrapped in favour of regional marketing responsibility.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd May 2018: Ads of the Week "70 Years Young". Land Rover's advertising has generally been a little less intriguing since the account moved a few years ago to dedicated inhouse agency Spark 44. It's taken a while, but this latest campaign is an absolute charmer. The real credit goes to whoever oversaw the casting of such a great collection of crazy, funny, cool, adorable kids. And also the script! Apparently, all we adults do is "...dull stuff like work and groceries... and talk about the economy. Whatever *that* is!" Priceless. The ad is so good they don't even need to show the product. More of the same from now on please, Spark 44.
Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Apr 2018: Jaguar Land Rover appears to have selected Dentsu Aegis Network as its global media agency, in place of Mindshare. This move has been rumoured for several months. Now confirmation comes from Australia that Dentsu X (the former Mitchells media agency) will manage the business down under.
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