Jaguar and Land Rover are two of the world's best-known prestige car brands, as well as being among the last survivors of 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 has allowed Jaguar Land Rover to thrive, and it has reported record performance for the past few years. Sales soared to £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 since then, with revenues slipping to £24.2m for ye 2019, and units to 579k, almost entirely as a result of a steep decline in China, previously its biggest market. (Operations there are a joint venture with Chery). Bottom line slumped to a £3m loss. The US and UK are now the top two territories, with China slipping to 3rd place. Unit sales for Land Rover were 398k, to 180k for Jaguar. In 2019 unconfirmed rumours began to circulate that Tata Motors was considering a sale of the business, with PSA Groupe named as a potential buyer. No further developments have materialised. Performance has stabilised in the current year, though the group is still loss-making. However, in early 2020, CEO Ralf Speth announced plans to step down by the end of the year; a successor is being sought. 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 18th December 2019
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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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