The uphill battle facing Jaguar Land Rover’s new boss

Linda J. Dodson

However, streamlining the ranges to eliminate overlaps could help, along with Bolloré clearly differentiating the Land and Range Rover marques from Jaguar to reduce cannibalisation. An even more extreme option could be killing off Jaguar completely – though whether such a move would be practical, even possible, is unknown.

With Sir Ralf remaining as a non-executive vice-chairman at JLR, Bolloré could find himself in the difficult position of having to deal with a predecessor still haunting executive corridors who is willing to fight to save the Jaguar brand he hoped to build up.

Despite his background in mass-market cars, one thing Bolloré is unlikely to do is move the marques downmarket in the hope of boosting sales. Lower pricing to win market share would not help the company’s finances and risks damaging the company’s premium cachet.

Partnerships are almost certainly on Bolloré’s to-do list. JLR is already working with BMW on electric drive trains and internal combustion engines, and it is rumoured this could be extended to sharing vehicle platforms and potentially other technology.

With JLR having slowed investment in electric Jaguars to ease pressure on its finances, joining forces with competitors could be one way of continuing progress at a lower cost. Renault was a leader in electric vehicles, and Bolloré utilising his experiences there to get JLR to catch up from its lagging position in electrification could be a real boost. 

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