India Jaguar Land Rover

Nearly every major business is collecting consumer data these days, and keeping that data secure has come to the forefront of many customer's minds. Jaguar Land Rover North America's decision to begin requesting more customer info from its dealer network appears unfortunately timed, however. If it had come a few years ago, it might have been ignored, but in today's climate of heightened awareness, a few dealers are pushing back. To put the showrooms in an even tougher position, JLR NA is threatening to deny quarterly incentives if they do not turn over the customer data, according to Automotive News.

JLR NA instated the nationwide plan, which it calls Single View CRM, on February 7, but according to Stuart Schorr, Jaguar Land Rover North America Vice President of Communications, the automaker has been negotiating with its dealers to institute the new program for over a year. Schorr tells Autoblog that no financial information is being shared, noting that such data is limited to customer details, including things like what vehicles they own and whether they have any pending service. The initiative is meant to "improve customers' and owners' engagement with the brand," he said. Also, the company is not accessing dealer data itself; instead showrooms are asked to enter the info into JLR's database.

Dealers are concerned that they could be liable if the information somehow leaks out. The National Automotive Dealer's Association recently published a guide for car sellers about protecting data, and it recommended never allowing vendors full access to such information without knowing specifically what was being used for.

When combined with third-party data, consumer information can be used to create specifically targeted marketing messages to customers. According to Schorr, JLR NA is just trying to create a "more consistent process" for obtaining this info. The key is keeping it all secure.