Jaguar Land Rover is riding high these days with a slew of record sales months under its belt and some hot new product turning heads on dealership lots.
As such, the company is looking to further that growth in Canada by widening its dealer network to accommodate a plan that appears to only have a sunny horizon ahead.
Last September, the brand announced six new open points and that all new stores would be up and running by 2020. Four of those open points were awarded this past summer with Dilawri Group getting North Vancouver, Wyant Group getting North West Calgary, Mark Motors getting West Ottawa and Groupe Gabriel getting Montreal West Isle.
Paul Gommerman, director of network development and training at Jaguar Land Rover Canada, said the OEM is still in the selection process for South Edmonton and Brampton, Ont., but is expected to be finished sometime in early fall.
When the new additions are complete, it will give the luxury brands 31 full sales and service locations in Canada and one certified pre-owned facility in Laval.
The growth in the network comes as little surprise given the sales performance experienced by both Jaguar and Land Rover in Canada. August sales for the lines were up 14 per cent and 10.9 per cent respectively. The year-to-date tally has seen Land Rover slip just off pace last month with a 1.1 per cent decline over the same period in 2016.
Jaguar, however, remained on a tear with an 87 per cent increase in YTD sales in 2017. Propelling much of that growth has been the popular F-Pace SUV – for context, Jaguar sold 390 units in August, 207 of which were F-Pace.
There remains even more reason for optimism on the sales side as both brands will have new models including the Range Rover Velar, which is on sale now, and the Jaguar E-Pace on the horizon.
Thrown in the mix of this dealer growth is the continuation of JLR’s new facility program, the ARCH Concept. Gommerman said roughly a dozen current stores are in the process of renovating now with six of them under construction and the remainder still in the planning phase. He said the entire network should be fully ARCH compliant by the end of 2022.
When asked why three of the four new points were given to large dealership groups – Gabriel, Wyant, Dilawri – he noted the final decisions were difficult.
“We have a steering committee that reviews all proposals and participates in the interviews,” he told Canadian AutoWorld.
“We had many applications from excellent candidates who we could have chosen, but we do know the automotive landscape in Canada is very professional and it was difficult to get to our final decisions. The fact that these are large automotive retail groups is likely an output of the structures they have in place, the financial ability to start up a new operation and experience in launching dealerships.”
He also said the growth plan is based on an “exciting and expanding range of products,” which will increase throughput in all current locations while adding stores in new markets.