The challenging economic times in Nigeria are only temporary; it will rebound and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), intends to have a stronghold of the market when it does.
The Sales Operations Director, Jaguar Land Rover, sub-Saharan Africa, Nigel Clarke stated this position in a one-on-one after his product review and JLR Care presentation at the Land Rover Experience Centre.
Clarke said, “As far as auto manufacturing is concerned, all auto manufacturers are struggling; we are still selling cars but it is a difficult trading environment, particularly with the parallel foreign exchange market right of the Naira.
“We had a meeting last week with Dr. Maduka, we are working very closely with him and his team. As we work through this period, we make sure that we are strong and ready when the economy rebounds.”
The JLR brand of vehicles will be marketed from outside Lagos, he said, adding “We are already in Abuja and we are working with Dr, Maduka in terms of making sure where is the best location to go to next. As in other markets, there is recommended retail pricing for Nigeria on the website.
On the service centre, he said, “We had Dr. Maduka here with us last week and we have been discussing the future developments of Coscharis Motors and the development of facilities. The approved use with Coscharis has already started and is available for customers today.”
The cost difference between the approved used and the grey market, he said the vehicles in the grey market come predominantly from America. “The price difference is a lot but how did that car come into the country, who brought it in, what specification is it, how old is it – the customer needs to answer all of those questions. If you buy approved used, then it is approved by Jaguar Land Rover and Coscharis and it is coming with the correct specification and if it has warranty, service plan left on it, that will become part of the cost.
Yes, there is a difference, but equally you are buying a correct specification vehicle if you are buying it from Coscharis Motors under the Jaguar Land Rover approved used rather than buying a car that comes from America, which is likely that the fuel quality, etc, down the road will develop problem and there is no warranty on the car. That would mean paying full cost to get that car repaired.
On the prospect of JLR in Nigeria, he said, “JLR in Nigeria, we are very optimistic, we have a very strong partner in Dr. Maduka. We are looking into the future, but clearly, these are difficult times in Nigeria and we all look forward, everybody whether in the motor trade or not, to Nigeria returning to its rightful place as the economic leader in Africa.
Sometimes, things are cyclical but we are planning for more positive future as we move forward, and as we say we have a very good partner in Dr. Maduka, because typically, we have to develop now for a year two years down the road and beyond.
Jaguar Land Rover exploits…
According to Clarke, “Jaguar Land Rover has not stood still; we have introduced Jaguar= we have the XE, XF, F TYPE, F PACE and you know there is a lot of chatter in the market about Jaguar in the future. Now, there is the new electric car, which goes to show where the company is heading. There has been many upgrades in Range Rover Sport, the new Discovery, it is truly really stunning vehicle. All these products are coming to sub Saharan Africa. The electric car is coming to Mauritius.”
The marketing of JLR vehicles is not going to be limited to Lagos, Clarke said. Other cities in Nigeria will soon benefit from the presence of the vehicles in their axis.
Another interesting offer in JLR’s lineup is the sale of approved used vehicles. “We are market leaders in approved used. We launched last year. You know there is massive grey market in sub Saharan Africa and it will take a while for them to understand the benefit. It is very critical to control the grey market. What is important is cars that are coming in are not to the specification of the market.
“They come in cheap, not to go into other issues. The most important thing is that they are not to the specification of the market. They are cheap but mostly will not run on the quality of fuel. One of the ways we want to protect our customers and to be able to give them confidence is the approved used scheme. “They will be sure of the product and the quality and depending on the year and how the trade-in is operative, they will enjoy the remaining warranty. We want to make sure that our customers are buying proper approved and correct specification and their confidence will now grow. We want the customer to have the option of not going to the grey market. We have got a lot of enquires, trade-ins. Buying from grey market is for short gain, like lucky-deep.”
Retail pricing on websites…
Prospective buyers of JLR vehicles can now have an idea of what it would cost them by just a click on their website. Clarke said, “We now have recommended retail pricing on websites of the different markets. If you go the Land Rover website, the consumer will see the retail pricing; some in dollars and others in local currencies, depending on how the legislation works or how the trading environment is in that country. That is a real add-on we have for our customers, so that they can see it in a more transparent way. We still got a lot of work to do in terms of existing products and the new products.”
Clarke also discussed JLR’s service plan, saying “We have also launched the Land Rover Care Programme. It is a 5-year 100,000 service plan. For many years, our customers have been wanting that confidence, to make sure that they have good coverage. SSA market.
“We look after our consumers not only when the purchase new vehicles and when they want to go into the approved use, then they have got the whole trade cycle. It can be passed on to the second and third buyer. So, a really good initiative that goes well ahead of the competition.”