JLR dealers astonished over plans to axe Land Rover brand
Car dealers from the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) retail network in the United Kingdom have been left in shock by the Indian-owned carmaker’s new plan to axe its 75-year-old Land Rover brand.
Tata Automotive’s British OEM revealed last week that it would ditch the Land Rover name for its range of 4×4 models, instead focussing on Jaguar, Range Rover, Defender, Discovery as part of its new House of Brands retail and marketing strategy.
It will also officially switch its official company branding to ‘JLR’, to remove reference to Land Rover, as part of a move which will spark corporate identity changes in dealerships across the UK which had been subject to a £1 billion Arch Concept corporate identity (CI) transformation in recent years.
The changes come as the OEM prepares to roll-out agency model retail and were met by incredulous response from retailers.
“I’m utterly flabbergasted,” one JLR retailer said. “For decades, JLR has had some quite significant and well reported issues and the power of the brand has absolutely been it major strength.
“Side-line the Land Rover brand and you’re turning your back on the strongest element of the business, a global powerhouse of a brand. You have to question the intelligence behind that.”
An article in the Daily Mail’s This Is Money supplement reported that Land Rover branding will be used as “an overarching ‘Trust Mark’” in future, adding that the name will no longer appear prominently on the front of retail dealerships.
Instead, across a rectangular black arch, will be the names of the individual vehicles such as Range Rover or Defender, without the ‘Land Rover’ oval, it added.
JLR’s chief creative officer Gerry McGovern said that the House of Brands change in marketing direction would serve to “elevate and amplify the uniqueness of our characterful British marques”.
He added: “Our ultimate ambition is to build truly emotionally engaging experiences for our clients that, overtime, will build long-term high equity for our brands and long-term sustainability for JLR ”.
“As a House of Brands, Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar, now step forward as individual marques, projecting their individual purpose, desirability, and personality. Under this approach, we will amplify the unique character of each of the brands, accelerating the delivery of our vision to be the Proud Creators of Modern Luxury.
“We are not losing the Land Rover name; its spirit is – and will continue to be – a crucial part of our DNA.”
Meanwhile, JLR’s new chief executive Adrian Mardell has reaffirmed the business’s commitment to its Reimagine strategy, which he said will reposition the company as a highly profitable electric-first, modern luxury carmaker by 2030.
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