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Jaguar rules out raising volume

Date: 06 June 2007

New Jaguar S-type

Jaguar will continue to follow its own path and not follow premium brand rivals into a chase for volume, according to marketing manager David Lewis.

"Some of our competitors act like volume brands with contract hire rates, incentives and money off up front," said Lewis.

The company has reversed its previous plans to chase 200,000 units per year, and is now focussed on selling fewer cars but for more profit. "We've taken an alternative route - we're looking at niche premium and making more money from less cars," he said. "We don't want to be selling huge amounts of cars without making money."

Part of that has been tweaking the model offering, an example of which is that all S-types (pictured) now come with leather and an automatic gearbox, to help residual values.

X-type volumes have been cut as "it doesn't pay us to compete" with the incentives other brands are placing on cars. "We did reduce X-type volume to focus on XJ and spend time selling cars more profitably," said Lewis.

The firm is also eyeing opportunities in the chauffer market with the new XJ diesel long-wheelbase model. "We're working hard to try and get into that market," said Lewis.

Jaguar's marketing boss also repeated the line oft-quoted by manufacturers about completely pulling out of daily rental. "We're not going to force people to take cars - if we haven't got homes for them then we won't build them," he said.

Lewis also confirmed that the X-type has a refresh "in the pipeline", and that Jaguar is considering its options about whether to replace the car with an all-new model, or just to pull back from the upper medium sector completely.