Jaguar has given the clearest indication yet that it will abandon its foray into the mass market with the much-criticised X-Type.
The company’s director of corporate and governmental affairs Don Hume admits: “A smaller, more focused Jaguar is where we are heading”.
Marketing Week revealed earlier this year that the company was poised to axe the X-Type in the US, throwing the car’s future into doubt in the UK (MW January 12).
Hume refuses to comment on Jaguar’s plans for the X-Type, although he says: “The history of our company is based on the fact that people buy cars for emotional reasons, but over the last five years we have perhaps forgotten that to some extent.”
There have been question marks over Jaguar’s future since Ford’s announcement last week that it is conducting a “strategic review” of its business.
Jaguar was a one-model brand when it was acquired by Ford in 1989 but the US car giant ramped up production, and by 2000 it was selling 90,000 cars, up from 6,594 in 1994. In 2002, sales stood at 130,330 following the launch of the X-Type, but the car was slammed by critics for being based too closely on a Ford Mondeo.
Sales have since slumped, and Jaguar is likely to sell just 85,000 globally this year. Dan Holliday, director of brand communications agency The Fish Can Sing, says the marque has “lost its cool”.