MANAMA: British carmaker Jaguar is to increase its presence and visibility in Bahrain in the next few years, it has emerged.
Newly-appointed Jaguar Bahrain general manager Stephen Harris said the perception among the people that the brand is "expensive" and "unaffordable" has to be changed.
"We will not only promote the brand as an affordable luxury car but also the brand's heritage, which goes back more than a hundred years," Mr Harris told the GDN.
A Mohammed Jalal company, Jaguar Bahrain will also further promote itself as a company that believes in quality care and provides the best to its existing and prospective customers, Mr Harris said.
"We have in place several expansion plans in the next couple of years, among them a planned increase in visibility and sales. We are aiming to get to capturing between 17 and 18 per cent of the luxury car market, up from the present around 12pc."
He said also on the cards is a full renovation of the body shop and more investments in technology, taking the brand forward. "The Jaguar models are not expensive when compared with other luxury brands but we have to make people aware of our cars even more. We will do this by an advertising campaign and speaking about our award-winning customer services."
Mr Harris said he is aware it was not an easy task. "The process has started already and it will take time but we will get there."
He said Indian company Tata Motors taking over the company recently had helped Jaguar "come off the shackles" and "allowed the brand to breathe".
"After the takeover, there have been substantial investments as we take the brand towards the 21st century.
"In Bahrain, we aim to take our annual sales figures to around 300 cars annually from the present around 150, by 2014."
Mr Harris, an automotive industry professional for the last quarter of a century, worked in the Middle East for 10 years until 2002, after which he was in South East Asia, working for Land Rover Jaguar, before moving to Bahrain.