British luxury automaker Jaguar Land Rover has been banking on the sales success it had in recent years in China, but as the first quarter sales tally showed a negative result, the company geared up to make key changes.
Jaguar Land Rover, wholly owned by India’s Tata Motors since 2008 when it was acquired from the second largest US automaker, Ford, has been a pillar for the Indian automaker’s finance books over the past couple of years. JLR has been providing the bulk of profit to its larger parent as the Indian auto market took a dive and is only now recovering slowly after its political situation was resolved last year. But the British luxury automaker saw dropping sales in Cina over the first quarter, which impacted profits across the group. Now JLR has turned to a former Porsche executive, appointing him to lead Chinese sales, as the carmaker wants to continue rising across one of its crucial markets. Former managing director of Porsche China, Mark Bishop, has been tasked to lead sales and marketing for Jaguar, Land Rover and vehicles manufactured through JLR’s joint venture with China’s Chery Automobile in China, according to a recent statement.
Bishop has been put in place of Yi Lu, who resigned as president in mid-April due to personal reasons – he was in the position for around a year. Additionally, James Hu, a current sales and customer services executive at JLR, has also been named as deputy president of sales and marketing. JLR saw its first quarter sales go down by around a fifth year-over-year in China, the world’s largest single auto market.