The true scale of Jaguar’s financial meltdown has been revealed by accounts recently filed by the car maker. In 2003 — the year the delayed XJ was launched (right) — the company lost £601m. A complex accounting procedure meant owners Ford reduced the paper value of Jaguar by a massive £534m in 2003. This was partly because Ford realised that Jaguar would never hit its projected sales target of 200,000 cars per year. The result was described by Jaguar director David Smith as leaving the company ‘with a negative net worth of £322m’.
Ford will now have to ‘re-capitalise’ Jaguar with a fresh injection of cash. Ford and Jaguar have already taken a hit on the costs of selling the Jaguar F1 team and the costs of closing down production at the Browns Lane factory in Coventry. Losses in 2004 will again be in the ‘hundreds of millions,’ say Jaguar sources.