Business / Auto Global

UK carmaker, Chery focus on integration amid downward turn

By Hao Yan in Beijing (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-08 14:01

Jaguar Land Rover and its joint venture appointed new senior executives for its integration organization following the resignation of the former president in April, while the two companies' performances declined further.

The British carmaker and Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Co announced the appointments of Mark Bishop as president of integrated marketing, sales and service, and Hu Jun as the section's deputy president. The pair took up their roles on June 1 and will jointly lead the integration department.

The appointments came after the former integration department president Lu Yi quit in April, just one month before the organization's first anniversary.

The integration department was created in May 2014 by JLR China and Chery JLR and is responsible for the marketing and sales of both entities' products in China and for integration and coordination between the two distribution channels.

Andy Goss, sales director of JLR Group, said in a news release that the companies were getting the very best team to underpin the aims of the best premium player in the Chinese market.

LMC Automotive Consulting Managing Director Zeng Zhiling said, "The personnel changes demonstrated the demands of a successful integration between the two sets of teams, channels and dealerships.

"Their challenges also lie in the repositioning of the first localized model Evoque.

"The market does not support its position, while the dealers have localized product stocks piled up and some customers still want the higher-priced imported ones."

JLR's sales in China dropped by 21 percent to 31,815 units in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period in 2014, according to the company's monthly report.

In contrast, the country's SUV market saw a 48.9 percent growth in the first four months of the year.

When the imported Evoque launched in the Chinese market in 2013, many customers paid extra, in some cases tens of thousands of yuan, for a stock car that they could drive away.

Now, some dealers are cutting retail prices for locally made Evoques with badges that say Chery Jaguar Land Rover in Chinese characters.

Chery Jaguar Land Rover's deputy executive president Zhu Guohua said the company adjusted sales targets and was offering bonuses for exceeding the targets, according to local media.

The joint venture manufactured the local Evoques in its Changshu plant in Jiangxi province.

Chery and JLR invested 10.9 million yuan ($1.78 million) in the plant, which has the annual capacity to produce 130,000 units.

The plant plans to localize the new Freelander this year.

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