New XJ to herald Jaguar attack on limo and CEO market
22 July 2009
Next year's launch of the new Jaguar XJ will give the brand a chance to challenge the dominant Mercedes-Benz S-class in the limo and chief executive areas, according to Jaguar UK boss Geoff Cousins.
The long-wheelbase version of the new model will be priced at £3000 over the standard car and offers another 125mm of leg room in the rear for that premium. Cousins is targeting a spectacular rise in share of XJ sales taken by the longer model, going from the current 9% to a goal of 32%.
"This is the first time Jaguar has had a true S-class competitor, and it is a true S-class competitor," Cousins told BusinessCar. "It gives us a really good chance to get into the limo market and CEOs, to make the XJ the car of choice for CEOs.
"Mercedes has dominated the chauffeur market."
Jaguar is currently waiting on the residual value verdict from the experts it has been talking to, but Cousins is expecting the XJ to follow the excellent figures achieved by the XK and XF models.
The chauffeur-driven chief executive sector is where Cousins expects the greater initial success. "I think we'll have more success at first with CEOs than chauffeur companies, frankly there's only so much I would pay to be in that sector," he said. "We will develop a chauffeur programme to target the market but we're targeting CEOs as well.
Part of that targeting is to take over the advertising space all around Heathrow's Terminal Five nearer to the launch at the turn of the year to target top business professionals.
Government fleets are another target. "There's a lot of goodwill towards Jaguar at the moment so I'm sure we'll have some success with Government."
Overall, Cousins said he expects the XJ to provide a hefty boost in market share over the current model, taking it from 20% up to a goal of around 30% of the sector.