Blog: Dave LeggettX-Type flop?

Dave Leggett | 14 February 2005

Jaguar's move downmarket with the X-Type hasn't exactly been a roaring success - the sales numbers (and the accompanying incentives figures in the US) make for grim reading. But just what is the route cause? It's probably a combination of factors. Is the X-Type an inherently poor design? I don't think it is the best execution imaginable, but it's not that bad, surely: a scaled down conventionally shaped three-box saloon, with obvious Jaguar design cues.

Maybe the designers could have been bolder, but they probably thought it was a good move to take a retro design to a whole new segment.

Platform? Let's not make too much of the fact that it shares platform with Mondeo - there are plenty of examples of platform sharing in this industry that are pretty successful. Engines? Lacking diesel has been a problem in Europe, but not in the US for goodness sake. Gasoline offerings look okay. 

I think the heart of the problem has to be the brand proposition in a segment where any newcomer will find the going tough. Just how do you get the status conscious low-end BMW, Audi, Lexus or Benz customer to consider the new-in-segment car brand that his old man might drive? Answer: with great difficulty. And the conservative retro design has perhaps backfired a tad in that respect. Jaguar has some great designers and always seems to have some great concepts at the shows. Hopefully, the next X can be a bolder effort and genuinely take Jaguar to the new customers it wants to reach.

I can see why they played safe with the X-Type design, but the next step may be to throw caution to the wind and make an impression.

I think Jim Padilla may have hit the nail on the head.

Padilla wants gorgeous Jags


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