Text and photos by Eric Tipan
No sooner had the door closed than another immediately swung wide open for JaguarLand Rover (JLR). In barely six months — a mere blink of an eye in auto years — the British brand is back, with bigger and more grandiose plans amid its rousing return.
Coventry Motors Corporation, named after the city where the headquarters of JLR is located, is now the new official, exclusive importer and distributor of Jaguar, Land Rover, and Range Rover vehicles in the Philippines.
George T. Barcelon, one of only three Philippine reps to the ASEAN Business Advisory Council will take on the role as Chairman, while long-time auto industry and clothing company senior executive, Gerardo ‘Gerry’ F. Alejandro will serve as president.
“We are very excited to have been appointed by Jaguar Land Rover to bring their business visions to life in the Philippine market. Both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands are taking the rest of the automotive world by storm with cutting-edge technology and fresh, dynamic designs that have resulted in incredible year-on-year growth in sales. We believe that by working closely together with Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific, we can bring new life and innovation to the Philippine automotive industry,” said Barcelon.
Joining Barcelon and Alejandro for the contract signing were JLR Asia Pacific Managing Director Robin Colgan who brings 17 years of experience in sales, service and marketing to fore, and Customer Service Director, Andy Wust, whose expertise in aftersales support will help take the brand experience to the next level.
The timing is just right for the partnership between the two companies as the market demand continues to rise behind the momentous growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the last nine quarters dating back to 2016.
“This is a critical milestone for our growth in the Asia Pacific region. The Philippines’ robust growth of 6.9% in the last quarter – which has surpassed that of even China – is a clear indication that this is a market that holds remarkable promise and potential for quality premium cars that will meet the needs of a sophisticated and developed consumer base. To this end, we will be launching a series of award-winning new models that we know will resonate with the Philippine market,” said Colgan.
True enough, taking a lion’s share of the attention during the event was one of the two brand new models set for Philippine launch next year — the mid-size SUV, Range Rover Velar.
The newly signed accord between Coventry Motors Corporation and JLC Asia Pacific Importers signal the start of a new era for Jaguar Land Rover and it begins with the selection of the very first dealer and the preparation for the opening of the first dealership in 2018.
We are indeed very pleased to commence our formal relationship with Coventry Motors as we strongly believe in their capability to make incredible headway in growing the Jaguar and Land Rover brands and market share in the Philippines,” added Colgan.
Addressing members of the media present at the event, Barcelon gave a message of assurance to underpin the new company’s role in reinforcing the brand’s position in the premium car segment.
“You have our full commitment that Coventry Motors is committed to solidifying Jaguar Land Rover’s strong brand presence in the Philippines and catering to the needs of its loyal customers,” ended Barcelon.
Aiming for significant growth via the launch of new models, improved customer service, and under new leadership, the message to customers and owners rings out loud and clear, Jaguar Land Rover is definitely back.
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