Jaguar has seen a lot of change in the last couple decades. Now no longer owned or controlled by Ford Motor Company, Jaguar is looking to see what it needs to do to sell more volume and stay in the luxury car market. You might remember the X-Type sedan, the company’s foray into the small luxury car market in hopes to compete with the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. Unfortunately, the X-Type was a bit of a flop even though it ran from the 2002 model year until it was discontinued for the 2008 model year—that is 2001 to 2007 for those living on real time. Now there are rumblings from inside Jaguar that the company is considering a small sedan and possibly a small sports car.
For the record, I liked the Jaguar X-Type, even if it was based on a Ford Mondeo. They were a capable all-wheel drive that was well appointed on the inside—at least in terms of the leather and wood grain. Where they lacked was in the same department as Ford at the time, the controls for the entertainment system and climate control seemed cheap for the level of car and were definitely not leading edge like that of a BMW or Mercedes. Performance wise, the 3.0-L was the way to go, but they had a downfall in the early years with the transmission. All of these things lead the X-Type to a fairly unsuccessful run and a reputation for being nightmares to own. Adrian Hallmark, global brand director for Jaguar, says that Jaguar won’t make that mistake again.
In an interview with Automotive News, Hallmark said, “We need different models. We need lower priced models." He went on to say that the company is considering a small sedan and a small sports car and he believes they have to do both. Why do they have to? The reality is that volume is what keeps most car companies afloat and small luxury sedans like the BMW 3-Series have the sales volume—one of the reasons the 3-Series continues to be on the Car and Driver 10Best for more than two decades.
When will we see something new from Jag? Hallmark says, “We are at the beginning of that process, four-plus years before we see the first launch.” Don’t be discouraged though, Hallmark is the former head of the Volkswagen brand for the U.S., he knows a thing or two about products and timing. And it is encouraging to here Hallmark say, “"If we go into the smaller car market we want to build elegant cars with great technology that give a sense of occasion and position us above that competition -- where Jaguar should be."
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[Source: Automotive News]