Jaguar's Jon Wackett
SME Best Director's Car of the Year: Jaguar F-Pace
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EARLIER this year, the Jaguar F-Pace was voted Best Director’s Car in our SME Company Car of the Year Awards.

Now, you might think that this award was made by a bunch of motoring journos getting excited down the pub by a brand new SUV. More to the point, the first SUV from Jaguar.

Now, I take the point that the F-Pace is exciting for all the above reasons. And I’m certainly not adverse to the pub. But the panel of judges was totally independent of the editorial team here at Business Car Manager.

They were all specialists in the fleet leasing and SME sector and most definitely not making their decisions over a pint of foaming ale.

Let me just name them so you get the idea:

  • Paul Hollick, chair of the ICFM & managing director at TMC
  • Martin Brown, managing director of Fleet Alliance
  • Steve Cocks, head of Lex Autolease broker division
  • Todd Williams, head of broker at Arval
  • Colin Tourick, professor of automotive management at the University of Buckingham
  • Jim McNally, head of remarketing and logistics, Alphabet
  • Rupert Pontin, director of valuations, Glass’s

So these guys know what they are talking about. And that’s the value of these SME Company Car of the Year Awards we run. SMEs can be sure that the cars that are voted winners have the backing of the best in the SME business.

Jaguar's Jon Wackett
Jon Wackett

Recently I met up with Jon Wackett over lunch to catch up with what JLR is doing in the business car sector. Jon is the general manager of fleet and business sales at JLR (Jaguar Land Rover).

And having congratulated him on the award, I asked him about the significance of the SME market to JLR.

“Yes, it’s very important. The XF was the start of Jaguar’s ability to have a relevant product that’s suitable for the SME market. Quite quickly this was followed by XE and both readily accepted by SMEs.

“It’s a growing market for us – introduction of F-Pace meant we now have a suite of products that are most appropriate for SMEs, ranging from a 99g/km XE to an F-Pace SUV.

Jaguar's Jon Wackett
Jaguar XE from 99g/km

“With F-Pace you get all the Jaguar driving characteristics you would expect from Jaguar in a package that provides sports car driving and family/business practicality. So it satisfies the head/heart requirement of modern day business people.”

Which sounds pretty much on the button to me. But to make it simpler I asked Jon to name four reasons – in his words – why the director of an SME firm should want an F-Pace. Apart from our award of course!

According to Jon, this is what you should consider:

  • Rewarding driving experience
  • Practicality
  • Total cost of ownership
  • And finally: “It’s a reward to themselves while not having to compromise the ability to carry things – people or loads. And starts at 129g/km which is below current writing down allowances and leasing allowances.”

(By the way, if you want to know more about changes next year to company car writing down allowances and leasing allowances, read our information update here.)

Turning to the SME market in general, I wondered which of the three key business models – XE, XF, F-Pace – was proving most popular with SMEs?

“For Jaguar the three models complement each other, and the F-Pace was new to the market in 2016 so it’s not fully represented in the market data yet,” said Jon.

However, Jaguar did supply me with their figures for Jaguar Contract Hire (the company’s white label product managed by Lex Autolease), which focuses on the SME business sector at dealer level, and these were the figures:

  • In 2016 Jaguar registrations to the SME sector grew by 21% on 2015 figures

Of this, the Jaguar model split was:

  • XE 50.8%
  • XF 35.2%
  • XJ 3.2%
  • F-Pace 8.4% (not on sale full year; and
  • F-Type 2.5%
Jaguar's Jon Wackett
Jaguar E-Pace testing

And, of course, since I spoke to Jon, Jaguar has announced that a compact SUV will be joining the line up which will be revealed fully later this month – the Jaguar E-Pace – which will go on sale in 2018, while before then the fully electric I-Pace, with 300+ mile range capability, will go on sale along with the updated XF Sportbrake estate.

And giving yet further quite compelling reasons for SMEs to consider a Jaguar. So I think we can reasonably expect further growth in the SME arena of business sales.

Six business reasons to buy a Jaguar

Finally, in case you needed a refresher on the Jaguar line up, I asked Jon to give me six business reasons for an SME to buy a Jaguar – in succinct but fun one-liners

  • XE: a Jaguar to its core
  • XF: a car with both style and substance
  • XJ: a dramatic combination of beauty, luxury and power
  • F-Pace: the ultimate practical sports car
  • F-Type: the closest creation to something that is alive
  • i-Pace: Jaguar DNA in a new era

Do you agree with those assessments? Let me know in the comments section below. I’d like to know your thoughts.

Jaguar's Jon Wackett
Jaguar XF Sportbrake just launched

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  1. XE is too cramped in the cockpit compared to the XF even though it’s 2inches wider.

    Much prefer the XF, always happy to give a main dealer XE loan back.


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