The Business Year

Jessica Passos

COLOMBIA - Transport

Motor Luxury

General Manager Latin America, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR)


Jessica Passos has over 18 years of executive experience in the automotive sector. Before her current position as the General Manager of Jaguar Land Rover Colombia, she held a number of positions within Mercedes-Benz and Daimler, primarily related to production, marketing, and sales. Passos holds an MBA from the Universidad de los Los Andes and a bachelor’s in business from Centro Universitário Municipal de Sío Caetano do Sul.

TBY talks to Jessica Passos, General Manager Latin America of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), on its decision to make Colombia the Latin America hub, efforts to boost its premium lines, and plans for the region.

Why did JLR decide to bet on the Colombian market, and how important is thus operation for you?

Colombia is the second Latin American automotive market after Brazil and is part of our growth plan within the region. We decided to set up our operations with an eye on opportunities for the brands, products, and country with special focus to be closer to our customers and enhance their satisfaction. The locally owned operation was launched in late 2016, already delivering an amazing 50% growth and 2% market share in a decreasing market—all with just one dealer in Bogotá. Now, we are also in Medellí­n with immediate plans for Cali.

What was your strategy to promote your brands and grow in the future?

When we decided to launch our operations in Colombia we had only one dealer in Bogotá, and the basic strategy was to grow throughout the country. In March 2018, we announced the launch of two new dealers—Praco Didacol in Bogotá and British Motor in Medellí­n. With this strategy, we are not only growing in sales, but also in services, since we now have service points in both Bogotá and Medellí­n. We are now going for Cali, the coast and the north of the country, where we hope to open two more dealerships in 2018.

How did you start competing with other premium brands?

We have two main advantages besides our products, which are strong luxury items. The Jaguar brand in known for its motor racing heritage and incredible driving dynamics with its: “The Art of Performance” branding, while Land Rover is known for its elegant but capable off-road cars positioning itself as “Above and Beyond.” All product line-ups have been completely renewed in all senses including new products, new powertrains, new technologies, and amazing modern design. We are working on new products and segments in which we were not participating before. For example, we have the Jaguar F-Pace SUV that we launched in 2016 and is the first Jaguar SUV matching sport dynamics with SUV practicality. On the Land Rover side, the Range Rover Velar has been launched to re-think the SUV segment with technologies and design never seen before. There are some examples of where we are heading with our products, with more to come. We are about to launch the new Jaguar E-Pace, a smaller SUV for modern and active customers without losing any sport or practicality elements. In Colombia, we also have our own financial services in partnership with Santander bank. This is our strategy: we look at the market, see what our customers want, and then work together with our partners and team to give what they want. We also have three years of guarantee and five years of maintenance and service included in the initial price. In addition, we have a program called Approved, in which customers can buy pre-owned JLR cars with all the peace of mind in terms of origin and quality. This is beneficial to the new buyer, but also for the initial owner, protecting interesting resale values.

How is JLR pushing forward for a more sustainable transport system?

We are participating in the Formula E and were one of the first luxury brands to do so. Jaguar team has a successful background there. Furthermore, our product strategy is that every Jaguar Land Rover launched from 2020 will be electrified, either through all electric motion or hybrids.

What are your goals for 2018?

Colombia has been nominated as the new hub of JLR Latin America, replacing Sío Paulo. That said, none of our competitors are present here in Colombia to manage the rest of the region. This means that we will have more dedicated operations and people with different knowledge of our cars, brands, and markets.



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