Exciting, isn’t it, to have the first clues about the reinvention of Jaguar from CEO Thierry Bolloré?
The promise of unique brand positioning, a Range Rover-style luxury philosophy, and the in-house design competition that achieved what normally takes 18 months in three months, all whet the appetite for to come by 2025.
But while Bolloré arouses enthusiasm, he is advancing on a fine line. While it is admirable that he is open to explaining why Jaguar needs to change, he must also keep in mind his network of heavily invested retailers, who need customers by then, and the motivation of his staff, including many have worked on the products. He replaces.
Perhaps he concluded that Land Rover’s success is enough to keep its retailers going. But if I had invested tens of millions of dollars in a Jaguar Land Rover flagship store in recent years, I would scowl to learn that half of the equation was ‘damaged’ and its ‘me too’ products were doomed. to be almost everyone’s second choice behind Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Bolloré’s comments barely rank on the scale of a Gerald Ratner moment – or, to choose a parallel closer to home, the so-called if not confirmed arrival of a self-proclaimed multi-millionaire eco-warrior at the heart of the electric car revolution at a conference at JLR, Chef Bolloré must strike the right balance when restarting the Jaguar wheel of a diesel SUV – but there’s no doubt they’ll put off potential buyers. After all, who wants to own something from a brand whose boss doesn’t even believe in the product?
Carrying a brand of car for four years is going to get expensive – for everyone in the chain. Meanwhile, morale in teams working on the present for Jaguar is said to be – at best – rebounding.
While I can only point out anonymous comments and therefore point to its fragility as a source, word is that the XJ Electric Project cancellation was just the last kick in the shins for many, with morale already having took a hit as thousands seized redundancy as part of broader cost-cutting measures.
Now, when it comes to Jaguar, a lot of development work is on hold, focused on model year updates pending a platform strategy, and sales and marketing plans are focused on how to change cars in the cheapest way.
But there is at least hope in Bolloré’s leadership. Hitting the reset button is the hardest part, and the journey from that moment to potential redemption will always be a rocky one.
Sometimes it takes a near-death experience to come out stronger – and, for now, at least there’s something to fight for.
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This notice was published: 2021-07-05 05:01:23