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Jaguar may consider multi-franchised sites

Jaguar appears ready to accept multi-franchising with other members of Ford's Premier Automotive Group as it expands the dealer network ready for the launch of X400 next year.

Sales and marketing director Roger Putnam said: “I believe that you can make a bigger statement in a local area if you put together brands that work well, for example Jaguar and Land Rover.

“But they must have separate management and focus to give customers what they want.”

Jaguar currently has 94 outlets – of which around 90% are solus sites – with 53 dealer owners.

Mr Putnam said the number of owners would remain the same. The expansion would come from giving more outlets to existing owners in a reversal of Jaguar's policy, which previously limited the number of outlets owned by a single group.

“Most manufacturers used to limit the number of dealerships they had with one group. Now there is more flexibility,” he said. “The main focus is to get the cost out of distribution for Jaguar and our retailers.”

Key partners, such as Sytner, which recently opened a £1.2m TWR Jaguar dealership near Oxford, and Pendragon, which controls around 20% of Jaguar's UK business, are likely to be in the frontline for new franchises.

“Our dealers have made huge investments; wait for a whole bunch of exciting products from Jaguar,” said Mr Putnam. Jaguar has sold 48,000 cars worldwide in the first six months of the year, double its sales two years ago, on the back of S-type.

“We will double sales again in the next two years,” said Mr Putnam. “The S-type and the X400 are making Jaguar more robust and are returning the faith shown by Ford, which is an ambitious parent and a generous banker. Jaguar has funded the expansion, but Ford's money is there if we need to further broaden the range.”

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