Interview with Jaguar global product director Finbarr McFall

Jaguar director insists phenomenal success down to 'continuous investment' in new products

Jaguar global product director, Finbarr McFall, has attributed the phenomenal recent successes of the fabled brand to its strategy of "continuous investment in new products." Since Ford opted to sell Jaguar and Land Rover to Indian car manufacturers, Tata Motors, in 2008, the way in which Jaguar has reinvented itself has been truly remarkable

.Last year, car sales in the UK plummeted. However, Jaguar bucked that trend by disclosing that they had in fact increased sales by 3.8 percent. These incredible sales figures were reflected on a global basis for Jaguar – who also recorded a soar in sales in the notoriously competitive Chinese automotive sector. Jaguar's F-PACE (an SUV crossover) sold over 80,000 vehicles in 2016, making it not only the best-selling car in its current lineup, but the fastest selling Jaguar of all time.

Jaguar introduced the latest addition to its family with the launch of the E-PACE at the Excel Arena in Central London. Arab Wheels was part of the media team that assembled and managed to conduct a brief interview with Jaguar's global marketing director to find out more about Jaguar's success and its predictions for the E-PACE.

McFall emphatically emphasized that Jaguar's success has been down to a combination of continuous investment in new products and identifying a particular customer segment for the vehicle being developed.

McFall said: "I believe our success is down to the fact we keep investing in new products and new product variants. We've introduced a constant stream of new products over the last number of years. If you take the last three years for example, we've launched the XE, XF, F-PACE and now the latest edition to the Jaguar family, the E-PACE. We're constantly searching for ways to keep our cars refreshed, and I think another key aspect to our success is that we've designed and engineered new products with a specific target customer base in mind."

The F-PACE has been an incredible success, and industry analysts are predicting that Jaguar has another huge hit on their hands with 'The Cub.' (That's the term Jaguar has coined to describe the E-PACE.) McFall predicts that the majority of those who will purchase the E-PACE will be new to the Jaguar brand.

McFall said: "When we researched the E-PACE, we realized that you've got a whole group of prospective customers who know about Jaguar, have been considering purchasing a Jaguar, and then go, 'At last you've made one for me!' This was the sort of Jaguar model particular customers wanted, and it's been engineered and designed for millennial couples and young families. We saw this with the F-PACE, we got new and incremental customers and that's what you want. When you introduce a new car into the lineup, its job is to drive incremental business and attract new customers. We did this with the F-PACE, and we predict that about 80 percent of those who buy the E-PACE will be new customers."

McFall added that Jaguar has successfully replicated this strategy before with Land Rover, and is now using the same dynamic with Jaguar. He stressed the importance of building up brand loyalty, which enables customers to move across product portfolios.

Globally, Jaguar has enjoyed success, particularly in China, and he confirmed that the E-PACE will be localized and built in two locations, one in Graz, Austria and the other in China.

McFall was coy in relation to new products Jaguar was working on in relation to self-driving, autonomy and electrification, but conceded that like all car manufacturers in the automotive industry, Jaguar is 'working on it'.  

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