Jaguar dealers have a reason to be more optimistic this year despite having a bad sales performance in 2012, when new-car sales for the brand dropped 2 percent to 12,011 units. For this year, Jaguar is offering all-wheel-drive and a V-6 on its 2013 XJ model – features that were not present on its product line in 2012.
Jaguar also retooled its TV commercials, increased its online presence and urged its single-point dealers to consolidate to pave way for more stores that combine the Land Rover and Jaguar British luxury franchises. Jaguar also changed the way that dealers could get concerns to the factory. The Jaguar Business Operations Council and the Land Rover Business Operations Council have merged Jan. 1, 2013, to form Jaguar Land Rover Retailer Cabinet.
According to Michael Levitan, the dealer principal of two Jaguar dealerships in New York and chairman of the Cabinet, its role is to represent dealers' concerns and be a “sounding board to the factory.” He noted that dealer profitability, vehicle quality and raising awareness about Jaguar are top concerns.
He remarked that the cabinet’s goal is to represent the dealer body “the best way possible” and to help guide and grow the business and “make it viable for all." He acknowledged that the last few years have been difficult for Jaguar dealers, but it expressed optimism about their prospect in 2013, saying that there is an opportunity in 2013 for “everyone to improve their business." Levitan’s two stores -- Jaguar South Hampton in South Hampton, N.Y., and Jaguar Huntington in Huntington, N.Y. -- sell around 16 new and 10 used Jaguars monthly.