Blog: Jag under review
Dave Leggett | 2 August 2006
I see that a fresh bout of finger pointing at Jaguar has broken out at Ford. It’s surely a sign of exasperation in Dearborn. Whatever the excuses or mitigating factors, the last set of PAG results certainly didn’t make for pleasant viewing and Jaguar is obviously responsible for a hefty share of the bad stuff; first half volume is 10% down on last year. Jaguar in profit ever more elusive.
Even though it has adjusted its cost base in the UK, it looks like an uphill struggle with the X-type which has essentially failed to take Jaguar to a new constituency of younger consumers. And the exchange rate hasn’t helped in the US, of course.
Must be a tough one though. How do you make Jaguar successful, financially? Go for a lower volume breakeven level and simply drop the X-type (ie no replacement) altogether? I would guess that that is becoming an increasingly attractive option – assuming that the patience well hasn’t yet run dry (JV with Renault anyone?). Make some of 'em in the States? A crossover off the S-type platform?
On the X-type, I understand that a replacement is pencilled in for 2009. That's an awfully long wait for a failing model in the latter part of its model cycle. If it is 'replaced' it will have to be with something very different in concept I would think, minimising associations with the X.
If you listen to the BBC Radio 5 'drivetime' programme on your way home from work, you may catch me on the subject at around 5:45pm-6:00pm this evening, being interviewed down the phone.
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