Jaguar displayed at Notre Dame
As part of a presentation on changes in the automotive industry, one of the eight Jaguar XKRs used in the recent James Bond movie, "Die Another Day," was on display at the Mendoza College of Business last Friday. Mike O'Driscoll, president of the Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover North American division, gave a talk about recent changes and industry developments in his company.
O'Driscoll discussed the increasing recent democratization of luxury. Among the newest changes in the automotive industry include aggressive growth of premium car sales in the past seven years, brand proliferation, broad product portfolios and the strengthening of distribution networks, where automotive dealerships have become full-service destination points, said O'Driscoll. He also explained how the merger of three separate companies has affected his company.
"We put Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover together to take on the competition," said Driscoll.
Luxury vehicles are also more affordable now because of consumers' increase in affluence and willingness to take on debt and leasing, said O'Driscoll. Luxury automotive companies have in turn aimed to promote brand awareness, publicity and media exposure, answer consumer preferences, create product extensions and enhance product performance.
"If you could take one car to your high school graduation, this would be it," said O'Driscoll.
The other three major automotive companies are BMW, Mercedes Benz and Lexus, explained O'Driscoll. The demand for different categories of luxury items has also increased rapidly, and these brands face many of the same challenges.
The challenges of brand democratization include preserving authenticity, performance and striving for a balance between the business growth attained by volume and the brand integrity achieved by exclusivity, said O'Driscoll.
O'Driscoll also explained how company has evolved from Lyons' Swallow Side Car Company in Coventry, England to one of the world's largest luxury automotive companies. Jaguar will launch the newest model of its XJ flagship brand next year, according to O'Driscoll.
All News Stories for Monday, November 25, 2002