Jaguar Land Rover’s Joe Eberhardt has a plan to make profits

CNBC: How are you planning to do that?

Eberhardt: Going forward, we’ll put two transformation programs in place. In the short term is one called “charge,” that is purely focused on cost reductions. The other one is called “accelerate,” which is meant to address some of the systemic issues we’re facing from a market perspective. Both efforts together will generate 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) in profit improvement, and we think we will have a sustainable business.

CNBC: Speaking of systemic issues, Land Rover seems well positioned to respond to the surge in SUV demand. Not so with Jaguar, however.

Eberhardt: The shift to SUVs continues. We’re now at 70 percent SUVs for three consecutive months in the U.S. which nobody would have expected, and the trend is moving in the same direction in the rest of the world. It’s hard to say where that will end. When it was 50 percent, I thought it would be the end. I don’t think we knew how quickly that trend would happen when we did the F-Pace, E-Pace and I-Pace, so I guess you could call it luck. I can guarantee at the time, nobody said it would be 70 percent at planning meetings. The good news is that we have the product. The question now is how we react on the downside with cars that are not in demand.

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