|Jaguar Land Rover Korea signs a car financing deal with Woori Financial and Woori Bank. (Jaguar Land Rover Korea)|
INJE, Gangwon Province ― Jaguar Land Rover is aiming for up to 5,000 units in annual sales here by 2015 based on burgeoning optimism over the rapid growth of the Korean market.
“It’s ambitious but I think it’s not an impossible goal,” David Blackhall, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific, said at a racing event held at Inje Speedium on Thursday. Last year, Jaguar Land Rover Korea sold 3,118 cars.
The year 2015 is special for the carmaker since it’s also when Jaguar will introduce a compact car ― smaller than its XF ― to compete against the BMW 3 series and the Audi A5.
“This car is one of the most important cars we’ll do in Korea because it will provide further impetus to do better in a market that we’re already doing so well in,” Blackhall said.
As the manager was quick to point out, Jaguar Land Rover Korea has grown more than 60 percent on-year as of the end of September this year.
In comparison, the Asia Pacific market grew 29 percent during the same period, which is why Korea is a big part of regional operations.
“So I’ve got a lot of catching up to do to match Korea,” Blackhall said.
Helping him do that job is David McIntyre who took over the helm of Jaguar Land Rover Korea last year.
In addition to sales, another key area McIntyre has been making efforts in is after services, which Korean consumers have said Jaguar lacks.
Jaguar Land Rover Korea has looked extensively into the issue, he said. The company has recently reopened shops in Ilsan, Bundang and Wonju with upgraded service faculties based on the belief that it’s not the numbers, but the quality that matters.
Other efforts to please customers include the company’s plans to introduce a financial program in cooperation with a local bank.
Earlier this month, Jaguar Land Rover signed a financial services agreement with Woori Financial and Woori Bank to offer more financing options for potential car buyers.
“It makes Jaguar Land Rover Korea the first import car company to enter into a financial services agreement simultaneously with Korea’s largest bank and a capital company, rather than using its affiliated financial company,” McIntyre said.
|From left: Jaguar’s XKR-S, XFR-S and F-Type. (Jaguar Land Rover Korea)|
Meanwhile, the upgraded XFR-S was put up against competition from the F-Type on the Inje race track on Thursday to show what each car was capable of on the road.
The XFR-S is basically a crossover between a sports car and sedan, and it promises performance as both. In Korea, it will hit the stores at the end of this month.
Living up to its description as the fastest among the Jaguar fleet, the model is powered by a 5.0 liter supercharged V8 gasoline engine that delivers 0-100 kph of 4.6 seconds, with a maximum speed of 300 kilometers per hour.
Maximum horsepower was measured at 550 at 6,500 rpm, while torque can reach up to 63.8kg.m at between 2,500-5,500 rpm.
Both XFR-S and the F-Type are matched with the Quickshift-applied eight-speed transmission that helps offer a more controlled performance.
By Kim Ji-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)