Jaguar has significantly reduced the price of its XE and XF, as it targets increased retail sales while creating a more “open approach” to pricing.
The two saloons have long been the weakest links in Jaguar's line-up as demand has turned to SUVs. However, the brand is committed to the models - at least for now - and this move is intended to help rejuvenate sales and better compete with rivals such as the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series.
Jaguar sales director Scott Dicken said: “This is one of the more competitive segments of the automotive industry especially for premium. Taking on BMW and Mercedes in these segments is a really big challenge, which is why we’re looking at it more holistically in terms of strategy.”
The starting price of the latest XF has been cut from £34,995 to £32,585, while the updated XE will cost £29,365, down from £34,600. Jaguar said these cuts were an 18% and 16% reduction respectively based on like-for-like models.
The XF-rivalling 5 Series starts at £38,600 and the XE-rivalling 3 Series starts at £31,110.
The price reductions have largely been achieved by streamlining the number of derivatives for both models. The XF’s options have decreased from 64 to 28, while the XE’s have dropped from 24 to 13. The move is intended to “reduce manufacturing complexity and retain the most popular features loved by customers,” said Jaguar.
The new buying process for both saloons, described as a ‘browse, buy, drive away’, “harmonises online and offline pricing so that customers know they will get the equivalent price, however they choose to purchase”.
Dicken commented: “The reason we’ve been able to achieve the drop in retail price is partly down to simplification of range, but also the advertised price doesn’t necessarily equate to price customers pay.
“We’ve taken that and put it up front. The price the customer sees is ultimately much closer to what they will pay. It’s about assisting the customer’s journey and making it a much simpler proposition.”
He added that Jaguar’s online buying process ultimately moved a customer into the retail network, saying: “We still have bricks and mortar at the heart of the sales process. But it does allow customer to be more qualified in understanding the car they want to buy. The relationship is between a customer and retailer, not as a direct sale.”
Despite making the pricing of the cars more honest from the get-go, Dicken said that the new strategy doesn’t change the profit margins for the retail network. “They still have the ability to adjust price," he said. "Fundamentally it's the same from a profitability point of view. All we’re trying to do is to remove the guesswork.”
Dicken added that the new pricing strategy will be exclusive to XE and XF, saying: “It’s relevant for the XE and XF because we’re targeting them at retail. For our other nameplates, particularly the Pace [SUV] family, we will be competing more consistently across many channels.”