24 November 2020
Dave Chambers, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC was featured in the latest issue of the influential CFO Studio magazine. Here he gives us some insight into his management style.
Congratulations on making the cover of CFO Studio magazine. Among Chief Financial Officers, that is a great honor. How does it feel?
This was my 15 minutes of fame. It’s all very fleeting however, and soon I’ll disappear back into normal finance obscurity. A very worthwhile aspect of being on the cover is that the magazine throws a reception for you where you get to pick the theme. Naturally we did a very British-themed event and brought along our newest Jaguar and Land Rover models. The invited guest list included plenty of other CFOs and leaders from the finance community. It was great to have these potential customers climbing in and out of our vehicles and talking to our product specialists.
The cover story was partly a celebration of your career. What have been the highlights so far?
For me, the biggest one was being part of the team that helped transition Jaguar Land Rover out of Ford back in 2008. Suddenly we had to take on new responsibilities we never had before, like creating everything from new accounting systems to new payroll processes to tax compliance. These were all parts of the business that previously, Ford had looked after for us. That was a truly exciting time; it was almost like creating a new start-up company.
Jaguar recently launched the ground-breaking Jaguar EliteCare Coverage1 for all 2016 models and newer, which you helped create. How does that feel?
It is definitely a personal highlight. Offering a 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, 5-year/60,000-mile complimentary scheduled maintenance, and 5-year or 60,000-mile 24/7 roadside assistance was a pretty bold move at the time. It was, and still is, a hugely attractive ownership value proposition that gives buyers added confidence and value. It’s creating initiatives like this that make my job exciting. I still sit back and look at Jaguar EliteCare and say, yes, we got a lot done there.
What are your biggest challenges today?
A couple of thing come to mind - first, and more immediately is making sure we have successful launches for the new Jaguar F-PACE and XE models. These two vehicles are critical to the on-going success of the brand and we have to make sure everyone who is in the market for a performance SUV, or a compact sports sedan, has the F-PACE and XE firmly on their radar. We created the ‘New Generation of Jaguar’ initiative to raise awareness and it’s gotten off to a strong start. We need to make sure the momentum not only continues, but builds.
On the Land Rover side, it would be keeping the Land Rover brand performing at the remarkable level it’s been performing at. This has been quite an amazing success story over the past few years, with 2015 being the best ever, with sales up 37%, making Land Rover the fastest-growing brand in North America. We need to make sure we don’t miss any opportunities, we are always competitive, we keep bringing in new customers, and we continue to fend off the opposition.
Tell us a little about your management style.
I’m very much an open-door person and like to be close to my team. I have a simple philosophy that if my team is not successful, I’m not successful. I am also naturally very curious, a trait that does come out in meetings. My team has a standing joke about me that it’s impossible to get through the shortest meeting or conversation without me asking a million ‘Whys?’
What hobbies do you enjoy outside of the office?
I guess I’ve always been a wannabe rock star. I’ve played guitar with a passion since I was 13, played in bands, played anywhere I could. I even played at my own wedding reception. Ahead of the wedding, I sent the band we’d booked a list of the songs I could play. Then during the reception, I nonchalantly picked up my guitar, got on stage and jammed with the band for a couple of songs. I know, wannabe rockstar. These days I just head up to the attic at home for an hour or so and play a few old hard-rock favorites. My wife hates the noise and I have to admit that as I get older, I’ve had to start wearing ear plugs.
1 For complete details regarding Jaguar EliteCare coverage, please visit JAGUARUSA.COM, call 1.800.4.JAGUAR or visit your local Jaguar Retailer.