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OPTICAL AND HEARING
7th July, 2005
VFACTS figures released on Tuesday show that Jaguar stabilised its volume during the first six months of 2005 in the face of continued year-over-year sales declines in the luxury passenger segment.
Overall, luxury passenger segment sales totalled 15,695 for the six months end June, a 5.1 percent decline on the same time period a year ago. This contrasts sharply with growth in total industry volume, which strengthened by 5.4 percent to 498,967 units.
The market improvement during the past six months has been driven mainly by the success of small and medium cars and medium SUVs.
Jaguar posted sales of 487 units for the six months ended 30th June, almost identical to the total recorded at the same time a year ago (490 units).
Jaguar Australia General Manager David Blackhall is pleased with Jaguar's sales performance during the past six months. “Volumes are where we planned them to be when we crafted our business strategy last year. Although we rarely comment on specific targets, the June result represents the 12th consecutive month during which the Jaguar Australia team has delivered on its business plan targets – an outcome that is unique in my experience in the car business. The entire team deserves tremendous credit for its dedication and professionalism.”
Last year, Jaguar Australia restructured its product range, took pricing actions and added specification in line with the announced “triple S” strategy (specification improvements, simplified product line-up, superior engine offering).
“Given that all of the growth in the Australian market is in small and medium cars and SUVs, we have a realistic idea of what success will look like for us – and that is delivering consistent volumes month after month so that we end this year at least line-ball with 2004,” Blackhall said. “We have challenged ourselves in a very realistic way to maintain a stable volume and margin platform for our business, and the business of our dealer partners. Given the segmentation, that is success for us.”
In recent months, Jaguar Australia has moved to focus specifically on high-end limited edition niche vehicles delivering unprecedented levels of luxury, refinement and exclusivity. Previously, Jaguar's earlier strategies were centred on attracting new adopters to the brand.
“We are looking to deliver the right balance of volume and margin. Products like X-TYPE and S-TYPE have a specific role to play, and we will continue to promote them. However, high-end niche offerings such as the limited edition long-wheelbase XJ Super V8 Portfolios [6 to be imported] and the anniversary edition XKR 4.2-Ss [15 to be imported] that we are importing really point the way to how we will play the game in the future,” said Blackhall. “It’s not only about volume. It’s about running a business – so far so good this year.”