Jaguar XF to bring home bacon as XE sales rocket
26 August 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
Jaguar is claiming its new XE compact executive saloon has already stolen 20% of sales in its sector from established rivals, despite only hitting showrooms early this summer.
The British premium brand is now turning its attention to the new XF executive car waiting in the wings to supplement the XE's success.
Speaking at the launch of the overhauled XF, Jaguar Land Rover UK MD Jeremy Hicks told BusinessCar that re-entering the premium upper medium segment was a steep curve.
"My challenge to my team and the network is vertical take-off. That's what we have to do - we have to be like a Harrier," he said. "It's no surprise that the XE from being nowhere has gone to 20% overnight because that is what we had to achieve."
With the XE stealing the limelight with a dramatic James Bond-style ad campaign dripping in Hollywood stars, the new XF has been somewhat overshadowed, but has the important role of maintaining Jaguar sales while new buyers discover the XE - a model far removed from the maligned X-type sold from 2001 to 2010, which was Jaguar's previous BMW 3-series rival.
Despite this role, the new XF should be very popular with business users, with its chic styling and impressively low running costs - partly thanks to very strong RVs.
To ensure class-leading residuals of 41.9% in 2.0d 190 R-sport automatic form - ahead of the BMW 520d M-sport automatic at 37.5%, the Mercedes E220 CDI AMG-line at 35.8% and the Audi A6 2.0 TDI ultra 190 S-line S-tronic at 34.3% - Jaguar has worked "really closely with the residual value setters", Hicks adds.
"We involve them very early on - in terms of seeing the car, experiencing it to drive and then also working with them to make sure we create the best specification." The company has taken a similar approach to cutting running costs, according to Hicks: "With cost per mile there is no silver bullet.
"What we have to do is focus on every particular area to shave away microns here and microns there."
However, despite the XF's appeal for fleet managers and private buyers alike, Hicks doesn't expect XF sales to rocket just yet, adding: "We have to land and deliver the XE at the same time. We're not going to see any dramatic shift upwards."
The new XF saloon arrived in the UK this month, though Jaguar is yet to confirm whether it can construct the business case for a second-generation Sportbrake estate model to join it. The new F-pace crossover launching in the first half of next year could offer enough choice to Jaguar customers requiring more space and flexibility to negate any benefit of engineering an estate model as well.