Jaguar admits capital allowance worries
18 March 2009
Jaguar's UK boss Geoff Cousins with the XF
Jaguar's UK boss Geoff Cousins has admitted concerns that the new capital allowance threshold at 160g/km could impact the firm's corporate sales.
"Capital allowance has got to have an effect," Cousins told BusinessCar. "The issue is how transport managers and finance managers will treat it; it comes down to the financial planners.
"What I don't know is how the write-down rules will effect the whole equation, given the XF's good pricing and spec."
Jaguar is launching a new 3.0-litre diesel engine in the XF, replacing the 2.7 that the car was launched with 12 months ago. Although the auto-only diesel competes on par with its BMW and Audi rivals, all three are above 175g/km so will fall into the higher capital allowance boundary.
"The risk is that people will say nothing over 160g/km on lists," said Cousins. "There are so many rules that people don't know what's going on. But I know the brand is getting stronger, we've got the best product line-up we've ever had."
The new diesel engine comes in two states of tune, a standard 240PS version that will account for around 56% of volume, and a 275PS version, badged S, expected to take a further 38% of XF volume. The rest will be the top-spec 510PS XFR, with other petrol models available only as a special order.
Cousins claimed the XF is very competitive in the areas it operates in, but suffers in volume terms compared to rivals because a high percentage of Audi A6 and BMW 5-series sales are in the 2.0-litre area, where Jaguar doesn't have a competitor.
"Fleet is about 35% of our sales because we're in the 2.5-litre and above segment," he said. "We've got 48% of all sales in that segment, and that's across all body styles."
The XF will stay saloon-only for the foreseeable future, with no estate model in the pipeline to battle the big-selling Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5-series Touring.