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Jaguar admits capital allowance worries

Date: 18 March 2009   |   Author:

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.