BY THEODORE OPARA
JAGUAR/Land Rover has disclosed that it has invested about $52 million in facilities and human development in the sub-Sahara Africa in the current business year. Mr. Nigel Clarke, Jaguar/Land Rover General Manager, Sub-Sahara Africa stated this recently in South Africa during an interactive session with journalists before the kick off of the Johannesburg Motor Show.
According to him the investments were in the area of facility upgrade within the region in order to maintain their market leadership. He explained that the development was on-going and that the company was committed to remain a market leader in their various segments.
Clarke explained that 212 new jobs were created within the period while new four facilities had been completed with nine nearing completion.
According to him, a world class training academy is being put up by the group in Nairobi, Kenya, for training of their staff within the region aimed at improving services to customers. He added that the group would not relent in its efforts at rendering world-class services to its growing number of customers in the region.
However, the General Manager expressed satisfaction with the perform-ance of its products in the region and the launch of the new Range Rover Evoque which has been well received within the first month of its debut in the market.
Impressed with the outstanding performance of the Land Rovers Discovery the General Manager gave an insight into the sales profile of its models within the 2010/2011 business year which saw the Discovery recording 55 per cent increase while the defender sales increased by 27 per cent, the Freelander and Range Rover sales grew by 27 and 5 per cent respectively.
The Jaguar models also performed very well according to Clarke with the XJ recording 94 per cent growth while the Jaguar XF and XK grew by 62 per cent and two per cent respectively.
For the Nigerian market, the General Manager was impressed with the distributors (Coscharis) facilities which he described as the biggest Jaguar/Land Rover facility in Africa.
The impressive performance of the Land Rover defender in Nigeria was also commended by the General Manager who disclosed that about 60 units of the defender had already been sold in Nigeria this year alone.
“The effort to market the defender in Nigeria is paying off as 60 units of the car has been sold recently in the market,” he said adding that they are always ready to partner with their dealers to create market for the products.
Speaking on the new Evoque, Clarke expressed optimism that the car would win more converts for the brand. “We are optimistic that the all-new Evoque will do us proud as the demand across the globe has been tremendous since its launch”.
To ensure that they achieve this goal, he said that they are partnering with their various dealers on facility development as most of the facilities have been completed.
He explained that Ghana has picked a date for the official launch of the Evoque while Nigeria will soon announce its own date which he hopes would be used to open the Coscharis new facility in Lagos.
Meanwhile Jaguar/Land Rover was outstanding at the Johannesburg Motor Show where it showcased its range of vehicles to the Motoring press from sub-Sahara Africa. With the all-new Evoque as the star attraction, at the Hall 8 expo centre, the journalists took shots at their car and x-rayed its features which were class-leading.
Speaking at the occasion, Jaguar/Land Rover Managing Director, sub-Sahara Africa, Mr. Kevin Flynn explained that the company was parading world class products and was determined to maintain its top spot in the luxury vehicle segment.
He disclosed that the group recorded impressive results within the year by selling more than 62,000 vehicles with profit of about 17 per cent. He was full of praise for all their products especially the new Evoque which he said the demand was at an all time high of 25,000 units.