26 October 2004

The long-term future for Jaguar X-type’s has been called into question, according to industry reports.

Bibiana Boerio, the company’s new managing director, was quoted as saying that the firm was addressing ‘whether the X-type is a true Jaguar’. ‘There is a place for it, but at lower volumes,’ she told US paper Automotive News.

Sales of the car are falling in the US. After peaking at just below 35,000 in 2002, they are expected to drop back to just over 15,000 this year, and profits will be wafer-thin.

Jaguar has been accused of mishandling the X-type’s US launch, particularly in encouraging ultra-low leasing deals. Industry analysts say the mass-marketing of the X-type has damaged Jaguar’s residual values and brand image.

Last year global X-type sales just tipped the 50,000 mark, but the introduction of the estate (right) and all-important diesel engines will help that jump back to 68,000 units in 2004.

Some US commentators think Jaguar should withdraw the X-type from the US market, but it’s more likely that Jaguar will wind back production of the car for the US as the new Land Rover Freelander (built in the same factory) comes on stream.

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