TIMING IS EVERYTHING FOR NEW JAGUAR LAND ROVER CANADA PRESIDENT
With key new models, like Jaguar’s XE and F-PACE arriving soon, Jaguar Land Rover Canada’s new president, Wolfgang Hoffmann says it’s the perfect time for him to be taking over the reins.
What was it that attracted you to this new role?
I am very much a product guy, a car guy. I love cars, and for a car guy, there could not be a better time to be joining Jaguar Land Rover. The models we are about to launch, the new Jaguar XE and F-PACE, are true game changers. I just had the chance to drive the new F-PACE at the global retailer launch in Miami and was truly amazed at its performance and handling capability. It’s phenomenal. Add these vehicles to the seemingly limitless appeal of the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Evoque, and we have a real opportunity to grow the company. They say timing is everything, and I think my timing in joining Jaguar Land Rover Canada at such an exciting time is perfect.
Can you tell us about your career thus far?
I spent a lot of time with Audi, first as a consultant, and then as lead engineer for the original A3 model. After a stint in global product marketing for the A6 all-road, I moved to North America in 2005 as director of Audi product management. I then switched to becoming general manager for the New York Metro Area working closely in the field with dealers. Then, an opportunity came up with Lamborghini to be North American Chief Operating Officer, helping the brand rebuild after the financial crisis. In 2012 I got the call to be President of Audi Canada and thoroughly enjoyed the role, but when opportunity opened up to become President of Jaguar Land Rover Canada, I leapt at the chance to be part of the renaissance.
Canada has traditionally been a true premium market for Jaguar Land Rover. How will that change with the arrival of XE and F-PACE?
This is our big chance to essentially re-launch the Jaguar brand in Canada. It gives us the opportunity to bring-in customers who probably never considered a Jaguar before, customers who never had Jaguar on their radar. The XE puts us right in the heart of the luxury compact sports sedan market, while F-PACE sets a new benchmark for performance crossovers. With these models, Jaguar for the first time will have a five-model line-up. That’s big news for the brand.
And continued growth for Land Rover?
Demand for the most premium Range Rover models and high-end versions of Range Rover Sport and Evoque just goes from strength-to-strength. Last month was not just our best March ever for Land Rover, but also our best month period, with an 85 percent increase compared to March 2015. It was a huge month for Land Rover models too with the LR4 seeing a staggering 255 percent year-over-year increase. My job will be to make sure our retailers get the product they want and the tools they need to continue to grow their business.
How important are the new SVR models to the Canadian market?
As a premium brand, you need halo cars. Cars that kids want to have as posters on their walls, or nowadays, wallpaper on their smartphones or tablets. The upcoming F-TYPE SVR and the current Range Rover Sport SVR have tremendous visual and engineering excitement. They send a strong, powerful message to the marketplace that we are capable of shaking things up. Tell me, what car-loving kid isn’t going to want to have a poster of next year’s recreated Jaguar XKSS on their wall?
Tell us something we don’t know about Wolfgang Hoffmann.
I’m a very passionate cook. A good friend of mine is a well-known chef and restaurant owner in Vancouver and put together a great cook book with recipes that have really been inspiring me. Also, my mother was a master chef and I’ve been making a great many of the dishes she taught me, plenty of hearty German goulashes and casseroles. Cooking is great therapy for me. I also like that it helps me to be organized. Of course, when it comes to cooking, timing is everything.