Jaguar Land Rover roars back into PH with new local partner

MANILA, Philippines— Well-heeled Filipinos looking to get behind the wheel of a new Jaguar or Land Rover are in luck as the two brands are officially back in the country with a new local distributor.

Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific signed a contract with newly-created Coventry Motors Corporation (CMC) on Friday, November 24, appointing it as the official Jaguar Land Rover importers for the Philippine market.  

Filipino customers have not been able to buy officially distributed Jaguar Land Rover vehicles since the brand’s previous local partner, Jaguar Land Rover Philippines, closed its dealership in May.

“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,” said Land Rover Asia Pacific Managing Director Robin Colgan at the contract signing.

Colgan also noted that Jaguar Land Rover will launch 4 new vehicles in the country alongside the launch of Coventry Motors – the F-Pace Jaguar full-size  SUV  and E-Pace compact SUV,   along with the 7-seater Land Rover Discovery, and the Range Rover Velar.

Established this year, CMC is headed by George Barcelon, its chairman, who also serves as president of the Philippine Chambers of Commerce and Industry. CMC's president is Gerardo Alejandro, the managing director of Mazda Philippines from 2005 to 2008.

Alejandro said that CMC will work on revitalizing the two brands in the Philippines, beginning with opening its new dealership at 1010 EDSA targeted for the first quarter of 2018. The dealership will also include a service center.

In the meantime, CMC said that customers who purchased Jaguar Land Rover vehicles under the previous distributor can have service or repairs done on an appointment basis by visiting jaguar.ph or landrover.ph, or calling 7235805.

Unfazed by looming auto excise tax

Jaguar Land Rover’s re-entry into the Philippine market comes as the rest of the automotive industry is bracing for higher automotive excise taxes as part of the government’s comprehensive tax reform program.   

The Senate and the House have already passed their versions of the first phase of the tax reform which is targeted for implementation beginning next year.

TAXING LUXURY. The House's version of progressive automotive tax. Data from Department of Finance

TAXING LUXURY. The House's version of progressive automotive tax.

Data from Department of Finance

Colgan remained unfazed by the proposed tax measure, noting that the situation is similar across most countries in the region.

“[The tax] is a consideration and it obviously has an impact on the price of vehicles and we’ll make sure we have availability prior to the tax  changes coming into effect. But, clearly that’s the situation and we respect that,” he said.

“What I will say is that I look after 17 markets in Asia-Pacific and with one exception, they are all very high-tax markets. What we feel is there is a demand here despite this issue. You have to have unique products and great after sales service to do well in those markets and I’m confident we have that,” Colgan added. – Rappler.com