AMENA Automotive’s latest Autofocus podcast welcomes Bruce Robertson, Managing Director for Jaguar Land Rover MENA. Bruce has over 25 years of experience in the automotive industry and this podcast is all about the future of Jaguar, Land Rover and the industry he is so passionate about.

Where does Bruce envision JLR by the end of this year? What are the firm’s long-term expansion plans? How far has the Land Rover Defender come? We discuss this and a lot more in our fourth Autofocus podcast.

Bruce Robertson has had an illustrious career leading Jaguar Land Rover operations across multiple overseas markets. He has headed the sales division in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and China before taking over the reins of JLR’s Middle East and North Africa operations.

Prior to joining Jaguar Land Rover MENAP, Bruce was the Executive Vice President, Sales and Service, at Jaguar Land Rover China. He was witnessed JLR’s five-fold increase in sales in the Far Eastern market. He brings with him immense knowledge and a knack for recognising the potential of any market he operates in.

The Fail Fast Mindset In The New Market

Among the highlights of the episode was Bruce sharing some of the most important lessons we can learn from others markets. China, for example, while relatively young market, has a fail fast mindset that has resulted in some of the top innovations and engineering now happening in that market. This is especially important at a time when the industry is undergoing transformation: “The nature of the industry is changing. The dynamics are changing. The focus is changing.” Bruce added “The [disruptors] are driving the motor industry to where we aren’t comfortable. But you know something, that’s good. Because when people aren’t comfortable, that’s when you get ideas, that’s when you get change, that’s when you get excitement.”

"The nature of the industry is changing. The dynamics are changing. The focus is changing. The [disruptors] are driving the motor industry to where we aren't comfortable. But you know something, that's good. Because when people aren't comfortable, that's when you get ideas, that's when you get change, that's when you get excitement." - Bruce Robertson, Jaguar Land Rover MENAP

ACES Is The Future

Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared vehicles are the future, and JLR intends to take advantage of the current volatile market and subtly direct it to their favour. Are there any lessons to be learned from the previous markets where Bruce gained his exposure?

What’s next for JLR as a luxury carmaker? The firm declared in 2017 that all of its new products by 2020 would feature some level of electrification. Backing up the claim, the Jaguar I-Pace will be launched in the Middle East later this year. The company is also focusing on sustainability, mass transit systems, and a connected automotive ecosystem.

How is Jaguar Land Rover sustaining future environment friendliness? Apart from reducing overall carbon footprint in its various facilities across the globe, what measures are being taken by the luxury automaker? Bruce touched upon the firm’s wide-ranging efforts towards achieving minimal environmental impact in the podcast.

JLR firmly believes that people don’t want to be just passengers in an autonomous shuttle, and as such is focusing on products that deliver an exceptional driving experience, apart from being eco-friendly. Jaguar Land Rover does not engineer locally. It makes truly global products that reflect the learnings the firm has gained through its operations in varied markets the world over.

Jaguar Land Rover in the Middle East

What are the key differences between the markets Bruce has operated in? Is the MENA region significantly different from the previous ones? Where are we ahead, and where do we lack? Bruce had concise and insightful answers to these questions, drawn from his extensive experience in the automotive industry.

Coming to the burning question of today’s times, Bruce also spoke about the challenges faced by the automakers in the field of autonomy. Where do traditional automakers stand in the race to bring autonomous cars to the streets?

Finally, Bruce had words of wisdom for individuals aspiring to enter the automotive market, whether retail or technical. What is the scope and extent of possible careers in the industry?

His views regarding the future of the industry are modern, honest, and realistic. How would JLR adapt to future mobility? How would the firm boost its performance in the MENA region, which is an interesting market from a variety of perspectives? And you can be sure that AMENA and Bruce did talk at length about the hotly anticipated Land Rover Defender making a comeback.

Listen to the full episode to get the inside story on where Bruce Robertson intends to position Jaguar Land Rover in the Middle East.