Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will implement its bold agency model car retail and electrification plans under a new chief executive after Thierry Bolloré announced his exit the top job citing “personal reasons”.
Chief financial officer Adrian Mardell, who has been at the firm since 1990 and part of its board since 2019, is expected to be taking over CEO responsibilities at the OEM following Bolloré’s departure at the end of 2022.
JLR announced the news of Bolloré’s exit yesterday (November 16) afternoon, around two years after he took on the role.
The departure of the former Renault Group chief operating officer comes less than two years after he revealed plans to electrify JLR’s model range – with Jaguar becoming fully electric from 2025 – and shift towards a more luxury-focussed focus as part of a new 'Reimagine' strategy.
JLR’s period of change will be compounded by a planned shift to agency model retail agreements for its dealers in 2024.
Commenting on his departure, Bolloré said: “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together at Jaguar Land Rover over the last two years.
“The company’s transformation and acceleration towards a sustainable, profitable future as a modern luxury business is underway at great pace.
“I would like to thank the whole team for their dedication and passion and I wish the entire organisation the very best for the future.”
Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Motors and JLR, said: “I want to thank Thierry for everything he has done at Jaguar Land Rover.
“The foundations for a successful transformation have been laid, leaving the company well poised for the future.”
Back in February 2021 JLR revealed that it would be axing around 2,000 jobs as it looked to leverage efficiencies as part of its ‘Reimagine’ strategy.
The OEM said that its new direction aimed to make JLR “one of the most profitable luxury manufacturers in the world”, but added that it would have to make "every possible efficiency" in order to achieve the full scope of the plan.
It said at the time: “Jaguar Land Rover is on a path towards double-digit EBIT margins and positive cash flow, with an ambition to achieve positive cash net-of-debt by 2025.”
In an interview with AM this summer JLR UK managing director Rawdon Glover told that "Jaguar Land Rover UK would “transition to a ‘direct to customer’ agency model by 2024”.
He said: “This will improve customer experience and optimise on- and offline touch points in line with our digital transformation, and elevate our iconic brands to the levels of modern luxury determined by our Reimagine strategy.”
Car retailers have already started to voice their concerns that the shift could also usher in a reduction in JLR’s retail network footprint.
One JLR retail group boss told AM: “It would be a huge blow to franchisees who have spent considerable sums on rolling out the Arch Concept and buying neighbouring businesses to help consolidate the network to this point if there were terminations and closures.”