Car enthusiasts in the kingdom have long been on the edge of their seats this year, waiting to find out what the new Jaguar was going to be. Covers dramatically drawn away revealed the new F-Type, an artistic masterpiece. The new Jaguar is the ultimate sports car of the year bringing with it an insane amount of horsepower, a beautifully streamlined exterior and the overall driving experience that makes Jaguar one of the ultimate luxury automobile brands. In this interview with Euro Motors Land Rover General Manager, Anthony Raymond, GAZ got an exclusive insight into Jaguar’s latest move.
- How did you begin your career in the automotive industry?
In 1987, I was a part time Maths and Physics tutor. I saw a job advertised with the Volkswagon dealership and thought I would take the job for a year which has now lasted for 25 years. The charm of the industry that kept me hooked was getting to play with fun motor cars. Cars are tangible and easy to understand so like most boys, I knew all about cars and was fascinated by them.
- What can you tell us about your experience and association with Euro Motors?
I was previously in Bahrain for 5 years before I moved back to Australia. I have been back in Bahrain for 9 months now with Euro Motors. So far, my time with Euro Motors has been very exciting as we were preparing to launch a new brand which is fun. We’ve taken on a massive number of staff which includes 7 new managers each bringing years of experience to the table. We have plans for a 25 million dollar dealership showroom which will hopefully be ready by December next year reflecting Euro Motors long term commitment. It will be located in Sitra next to the existing Ferrari showroom.
- What do you currently drive?
I drive a Range Rover Sport at the moment.
- Jaguar has long had the XK, arguably a sports car according to some standards, in the line up. Why add the F-Type now?
I think the F type is quite a different motor car which appeals to a unique driver. The XK is very attractive, very stated and slightly conservative while the F type is the spiritual successor to the E type. It is a beautiful reasonably small two seater which is more aggressive as a sports car, younger at heart and more alive. There’s an F-type car outside our showroom with just under 500 horsepower which does an incredible100 km in just 4 seconds keeping it in the super car territory.
- What would you consider the main characteristics of a Jaguar which set it apart from other brands?
The Jaguar is quintessentially British at a time when British engineering is on the rise. The Jaguar is European but not another German product. It has a class of its own.
- Which characteristics does the F-Type portray?
The F-Type has the wonderful heritage link with an E-type Jaguar. Technologically its aluminium architecture is very light, dynamic and far more aggressive than any other cars the Jaguar has produced in recent years. Even though it has its heritage to fall back on, car manufacturers put it up with Porsche 911s and very fast Audis.
- Who would you consider your main competition?
There are lots of good manufacturers and I’d like to think Jaguar has a different style and feel to it. What we have to do as a dealer is back that up with the same level of service. We need to be as good as or better than every other quality car manufacturer.
- Is the V6 engine used in the XF range and is the forthcoming F- Type going to be the successor of the V8?
At the moment you can buy the F-Type with three derivatives, namely the supercharged 6 cylinder which is fast, a super charged six cylinder which is even faster and a super charged V8 which is ridiculously fast but lots of fun.
- How has it been working for Jaguar?
We’re just getting started so the drive and focus for this month is to have most service customers come to us and say they had a pleasant experience. If we get the service right, the sales will follow. Every manufacturer is striving for service excellence so we need to be a bit better than everybody.
- According to some people, Jaguar has struggle with its image. What kind of image do you think it currently portrays?
Jaguar as a company has been owned by a number of different owners over the recent years. In 2008, the Indian conglomerate Tata has brought them. They have been very careful not to be greatly involved. They have invested heavily in a British company and allowed the company to design and build things the way they normally would but with huge financial backing. What they haven’t done is change the style of the company. Tata has a reputation of building fantastic inexpensive transport but that is not here. This is still very much Jaguar with a lot of corporate research and development money.
- Which is your favourite Jaguar?
Having pulled the covers off, the supercharged V8 F Type Jaguar and a sunny day at the BIC would be my perfect afternoon.
- Tell us about the growth of the automobile industry in Bahrain and Euro Motors contribution?
At this point in the year it will probably be the best time every for Euro Motors and Land Rover. Jaguar is so late in the year that it’s not going to make a huge difference in sales, hence our focus for sales will be next year. We have never sold over 300 land rovers in a single year. Hopefully this year we will have sold over 300 for the first year ever. At a time when the world is not in great shape I, as a visitor, see Bahrain’s economy getting stronger.
- Taking over from Mohammed Jalal and Sons, how is Euro Motors approach towards branding the Jaguar going to be different?
We’ve got quite an extensive marketing plan for next year which we will roll out. Euro motors traditionally have a definite and strong way of doing things.