Jaguar: Driven by excellence – Simon Dransfield

As finance directors look to cut costs across the board, Simon Dransfield, general manager of European corporate sales at Jaguar, discusses exciting changes to the company's corporate fleet services.

Can you discuss some of the main markets you currently operate in?

Simon Dransfield: Our corporate sales team is set up in several European markets including Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK. That means we're able to meet the needs of the customers within their own countries. We also have a central contact to ensure international fleet demands can be met and that all sales teams work together to ensure the customer receives the best information and offer available.

What changes have you made to your corporate fleet strategy?

Our corporate sales strategy has evolved as we've built up our knowledge and capability. We no longer target international accounts and we've seen significant growth in SMEs by investing in our network, and providing training and marketing tools as well as implementing minimum standards that reflect fleet customer requirements.

In 2010, Jaguar Land Rover introduced a dual-brand, corporate sales team for Europe, with a general manager based centrally and sales managers within our NSCs. We're now launching a dual-brand global team to work together across the business and raise the overall profile of corporate sales.

To appeal more to the fleet sector we've also developed a variety of new products. The Jaguar XF 2.2L and the Range Rover Evoque have both retained the brand's chief design strengths while adapting to regulatory change with low CO2 levels and fuel consumption.We also have the XF Sportbrake, which builds on the extensive facelift given to the XF saloon but is entirely new, from the B-pillar backwards. The design-led approach that created the XF Sportbrake's exterior has been achieved in tandem with far greater practicality. The extended roofline gives rear-seat passengers an additional 48mm of headroom and the seats offer both a 60:40 split-fold function and an integral ski hatch. Remote-fold levers inside the load-space opening allow the seats to be stowed flat quickly and easily, creating a cargo volume of up to 1,675L.

The vehicle will be powered by Jaguar's range of refined and efficient diesel engines, driving the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The 2.2L engine is fitted with our Intelligent Stop-Start system, making it the company's most efficient powertrain to date.

We will continue to launch cars/derivatives targeted at fleets and executives, and we will continue to adopt a balanced and measured approach to the fleet market, working in partnership with rental, leasing and end-user companies.

What trends do you see developing in fleet management over the next couple of years?

As companies look to save costs, fleet management is coming under increasing scrutiny. Finance directors will be looking at the total cost of ownership rather than the retail price of vehicles, using leasing companies more than they have in the past. While there is going to be a focus on squeezing budgets and cost savings, fleets are not going to decrease in size.

We recognise the importance of attracting and retaining talent within businesses. That's why Jaguar Land Rover combines a cost-effective, coordinated ownership offer with a unique brand experience. Companies that are looking to operate cars that are 'fit for purpose' cannot ignore the success of Land Rover's history of performance in a tough and demanding role. Two brands, one consistent level of service.

Do you have any plans for growth in 2013?

In 2013, we'll be bringing in some new vehicles to market, as well as updating some existing models. Of particular interest is the Jaguar XF Sportbrake, a new wagon for the European market, which will help achieve our strong growth targets.

We'll also be focusing on building business through our network; launching new cars each year with improved performance from a CO2, RV and cost of ownership perspective. The critical component to building success lies with the SME market, where the dealers are usually the most connected. Here, Jaguar and Land Rover will ensure that every vehicle launched will be presented to our new customers in a focused and supported manner.

Simon Dransfield, general manager of European corporate sales at Jaguar.