Global sales for Jaguar Land Rover are up a very robust 14% year-on-year over the First Half of 2014 to reach 240,372 vehicles, mainly due to an outstanding performance in China. Land Rover is up 14% to 196,785 units while Jaguar is up 16% to 43,587. China accounts for over 1 in 4 vehicles sold by the company globally over the period, up a whopping 48% to 62,469 over 6 months and boosted by a month of June up 60% to 11,554 units. This is all the more impressive that JLR does not manufacture cars locally in China yet (the first factory will open in the east China city of Changshu in the fourth quarter of this year) and therefore has to deal with significant import tax that make a premium product even more out of reach in this market.
At the moment, DS’s only European stand-alone dealership is the DS World in Paris, and it is set to remain this way. There are 3 formats for the DS line at Citroen dealerships in Europe. First the DS Zone, just a black floor with some special lighting (85% of current European dealerships). Then the DS Salon, with 3 or 4 models displayed on a dedicated floor space, a DS salesman and DS signs outside the dealership. Finally the DS Store with dedicated entrances and a wall separating DS and Citroen models. DS’s # 1 objective in Europe is to develop the 2nd level, DS Salons, as Bonnefont believes they offer a good DS experience and can be rolled out relatively quickly. There are currently 12 DS Salons in Europe but there will be 40 by the end of 2014.
Interestingly, Bonnefont is not looking at the world by countries but by cities. He says: “We have found that a lot of the growth in the premium market is happening in a relatively limited number of cities around the world: there are about 500 cities in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States that will account for the vast majority of growth in the premium market. Our strategy is to develop a first wave of dedicated DS dealerships in 200 of those cities to drastically increase the visibility of DS.”
Which begs the question of launching the DS brand in the United States. Bonnefont declares: “We have no plans currently to go into the US, but it is difficult to be a premium brand without being present in that market. It would be crazy to say no forever to the US.”
In terms of world distribution of DS sales, the brand sold 120,000 units in 2013, more than 85% of it in Europe. DS’s target is to sell 50% outside of Europe by 2016. Another interesting piece of information is the fact that 62% of current DS sales are conquest sales (coming from outside Citroen) and about 85% of them choose between buying a DS or a model from another premium brand. These are previously mainstream car customers who want to buy a premium car. The main competitors are the top German brands and certain Italian premium brands like Alfa Romeo.