Jaguar ex­pects faster growth in China

China Daily European Weekly - - Business - By LI FUSHENG li­fusheng@chi­

Leg­endary Bri­tish auto brand Jaguar, one of the fastest-grow­ing pre­mium brands in China, ex­pects even faster growth in 2018 with the ad­di­tion of its new XEL sedan and the E-PACE SUV next year into its lo­cal­ized port­fo­lio, ac­cord­ing to se­nior com­pany of­fi­cials.

“Our strat­egy is very clear. In or­der to be strongly com­pet­i­tive in the mar­ket, you have to have a strong lo­cal­ized base,” says Frank Wit­te­mann, pres­i­dent of Jaguar Land Rover China and Ch­ery Jaguar Land Rover In­te­grated Mar­ket­ing Sales and Ser­vice.

The strat­egy has been work­ing well. From Jan­uary to Novem­ber, Jaguar saw its China sales surge by 82 per­cent yearon-year, and one of its most im­por­tant driv­ing forces is the China-made XFL sedan un­veiled last year.

James Hu, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of Jaguar Land Rover China and Ch­ery Jaguar Land Rover In­te­grated Mar­ket­ing Sales and Ser­vice, says the stylish and sporty XEL will help Jaguar garner even bet­ter growth in 2018.

The XEL, Jaguar’s sec­ond China-made model, boasts six vari­a­tions.

Sport­ing Jaguar’s lat­est In­ge­nium 2.0 liter engine, the sedan has a max­i­mum out­put of 250 horse­power.

It has a 2,935 mil­lime­ter wheel­base, which ex­tends the legroom in the back row by 112 mm. Mainly tar­get­ing those born af­ter 1985, it com­petes with the Audi A4L, BMW 3 Se­ries and MercedesBenz C-Class sedans.

“We are a rel­a­tively new player in China, but we are here to of­fer new choices. With its class-lead­ing fea­tures, we are con­fi­dent the XEL will im­prove its po­si­tion in the mar­ket,” says Hu.

Jaguar has long made public its ambition to seek an equal foot­ing with the Ger­man gi­ants that have dom­i­nated China’s pre­mium car mar­ket for decades.

Wit­te­mann says some trends in the Chi­nese mar­ket, such as pre­mium car buy­ers get­ting younger, of­fer a good op­por­tu­nity for Jaguar to de­velop its fol­low­ing.

“The young, fash­ion­able peo­ple in China have dif­fer­ent tastes and they also want to stand out. I be­lieve brands like Jaguar and Land Rover have very good chances,” Wit­te­mann says.

“When you want to stand out, you need to have some­thing dif­fer­ent. Jaguar and Land Rover are some­thing spe­cial, some­thing dif­fer­ent and out­stand­ing,” he adds.

Jaguar’s sis­ter brand Land Rover is also do­ing a great job mak­ing in­roads in the Chi­nese mar­ket.

The two brands al­to­gether sold more than 130,000 cars in China in the first 11 months of the year, up by 24 per­cent from the same pe­riod last year — higher than the av­er­age growth rate of the pre­mium seg­ment.

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