Jaguar is poised to axe its mass-market X-Type model in the US, throwing the much-criticised car’s UK future into doubt.
Sources close to the company say the decision has already been taken to discontinue the X-Type in the US from the end of this year. Ford-owned Jaguar, which is hundreds of millions of pounds in debt, is thought to make minimal profits from the X-Type, which sells in the UK for as little as &£19,995.
Jaguar cut the range of X-Types it sells in the US last year after the basic versions failed to capture the public’s attention. The company still sells the three-litre model in the US, but sales projections obtained by Marketing Weekshow a dramatic fall in the predicted number of X-Type sales in 2007.
Jaguar forecasts global X-Type sales of 53,067 for 2006, but according to sources that figure will drop to 33,772 for 2007, supporting the view that it will no longer be sold in the US. A company spokesman claims forecasts for 2007 have not yet been compiled and adds: “The X-Type will continue to be available in the US.”
The X-Type was launched in 2000 and was Jaguar’s first foray into the mass-market. Global sales jumped from 90,000 in 2000 to 130,330 in 2002 after its launch, but the car was slammed for looking like a Mondeo and diluting the brand’s prestige.
The source, who says “the jury is still out” on the car’s future in the UK, adds: “The X-Type was successful in the short term but will prove to be a mistake. Jaguar should have stopped the range extension at the (mid-range) S-Type.”