By on June 7, 2016

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

After breaking its one-year-old sales record with a sharp increase to more than 61,000 sales in 2002, Jaguar’s U.S. sales decline began with a vengeance. Jaguar USA volume plunged 80 percent between 2002 and 2009 and has not since recovered. Under Ford Motor Company’s tutelage, Jaguar sold more cars in the United States in 2002 than in the last four years combined.

Yet seemingly overnight, May 2016 played host to a completely revolutionized Jaguar lineup. Year-over-year, U.S. sales at the Jaguar brand shot up 80 percent in May 2016. Thanks to two new products which instantly became Jaguar’s two best-selling models and generated more than half of all Jaguar sales, the Indian-owned British carmaker once again appears poised to approach the borders of America’s premium mainstream.

Poised. Approach. Borders. These are key words.

Poised? Indeed, Jaguar’s not there yet. The entry-level Jaguar XE and F-Pace utility vehicle are only just arriving, though their early days status was nevertheless more than enough for the two new Jaguars to form 58 percent of the Jaguar’s May sales.

Approach? Even with the XE and F-Pace fully ramped up, don’t expect Jaguars to suddenly become just as common as Cadillacs in Cleveland. Jaguar must fight an uphill battle, with a lineup that remains rather small, against consumer loyalty and historic reliability concerns.

Borders? With only 2,164 sales last month, Jaguar USA created less than 1/13th of the volume produced by Mercedes-Benz. Infiniti sales were five times stronger. Porsche sales were more than twice as numerous. And this was in the best month for the Jaguar brand since May 2006, a decade-high in monthly Jaguar volume.

2017 Jaguar XE sedan red

But again, Jaguar is poised to climb higher. May 2016’s U.S. sales results do not represent the climax of Jaguar’s product revolution. And it better not, because even at May’s pace Jaguar couldn’t sell 30,000 vehicles in the United States per year, less than half the total achieved when Jaguar was a small luxury automaker 14 years ago.

British Racing Green aficionados remember that Jaguar has been in this position before. The massive gains seen at Jaguar USA at the dawn of the new millennium also occurred because of a massive and sudden product revolution. After forging ahead with a high-end coupe and variants of the XJ for too long, the Lincoln LS-related Jaguar S-Type stepped in to generate 56 percent of Jaguar’s U.S. volume in 2000. In 2002, Jaguar sales had grown 75 percent in just three years despite an S-Type downturn because the Ford Mondeo-related Jaguar X-Type produced 54 percent of Jaguar’s 61,204 sales.

Sales of the S-Type and its XF successor, however, have declined in 10 of the last 15 years. The X-Type’s early success, meanwhile, dried up almost instantly. After peaking during its first full year of 2002, X-Type sales declined rapidly in every successive year, falling by two-thirds between 2002 and 2005.

So rapid were the declines from every model in Jaguar’s lineup, including the two cars which initially appeared to rescue the brand, that Jaguar USA sold fewer total vehicles in 2014 and 2015 combined than the X-Type managed on its own in 2002.

2017 Jaguar lineup

Of course, this product revolution is different, not only because there’s a handsome SUV involved, but because both the new SUV and the new XE sedan are priced attractively. The F-Pace, slightly larger than popular luxury crossovers such as the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and BMW X3 but slightly smaller than the Lexus RX, is priced from a very reasonable $41,985. The least expensive XE costs less than the Audi A4 or Mercedes-Benz C-Class; the only BMW 3 Series that costs less than the 240-horsepower Jaguar XE is the 180-horsepower 320i.

Moreover, this product revolution occurs against a very different backdrop. Jaguar’s U.S. sales were 50 percent stronger than Land Rover’s in 2002, but Land Rover USA volume nearly doubled in the last four years alone. Jaguar-Land Rover, now owned by India’s Tata, is far removed from the Ford Motor Company era. And while Jaguar’s U.S. sales results in May did little more than manifest the direction of a brand which is poised to approach the border of America’s luxury mainstream, Jaguar-Land Rover’s global success in May 2016 was unprecedented.

Jaguar-Land Rover sold 44,946 vehicles around the world in May, an 18-percent year-over-year increase thanks to the Land Rover brand’s 6-percent rise to 34,313 sales — three-quarters of the JLR’s total — and a 90-percent increase in Jaguar sales. Nearly three out of every ten Jaguars sold globally in May were F-Paces.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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33 Comments on “Jaguar’s Two New Models Instantly Become Jaguar’s Best Sellers, New F-Pace SUV Leads The Way...”

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The very reason that you would drive a Jaguar is that it is not ‘mainstream’.

    • 0 avatar

      Tata has always meant to change that. The first thing they started working on was taking away the uniqueness of Jag and making them more like the [high end] competition.

  • avatar

    “Jaguar sold more cars in the United States in 2002 than in the last four years combined.”

    Yep, because of garbage like the S-Type and X-Type which appealed because they were cheap and “super classy.”

  • avatar

    I don’t find it fair to look at just Jaguar sales as it has always been Jag/LR. Jag was hurt by a small vehicle line up and RWD only until recently.

    Now they have refreshed vehicles, AWD, updated infotainment and compelling vehicles that are less or offer more for the same. I would take an F-Pace over an X5 or Q5 any day and I’ll be testing one this month.

    I’m sure the will make a Q3 and Q7 competitor and if they are anything like the F-Pace they will do wonders for the brand.

    The very next vehicle after an updated XJ (since its old) should be a compact X3/Q3 size vehicle.

    While I’d love an XF wagon I don’t see that happening here anytime soon.

    • 0 avatar

      Supposedly the XF wagon isn’t happening even for Europe. The XE wagon may still happen though, but apparently the F-Pace has replaced the XF wagon in the lineup.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Jaguar or any car manufacturer could make a CUV out of compressed dog poop and it would be the best seller in their lineup.

    • 0 avatar

      Was thinking the same thing, though maybe not quite as graphic. Sadly, the American public has spoken, and SUVs rule the roost. If you throw it up on stilts and call it an SUV/CUV, it’ll sell. And I can’t talk, I own a 2014 Escape now. I grew up in Germany and love all things small, nimble (and manual transmission), but my life now revolves around camping, another child (adopted a 10-year old niece) and many, many rescue dog runs. Though my heart said “older 3-series,” the wallet couldn’t justify something like a one or two-year old (rear-drive) X1, so the used Ford Escape was what I decided on.

      I’ve no doubt Jaguar will quickly find the F-Pace to be it’s biggest hit.

  • avatar

    Just anecdotal observation, but I am seeing an increasing number of F-type and F-type R’s and even some F-pace cars in my area.

  • avatar

    The F-Pace is interesting, in that J has created something which will compete with the lower-end offerings quite directly at LR. I like the styling on the F-Pace, and the big power as standard is quite appealing. Nobody else gives you that in the segment.

    *Note at upper trims it’s about $70,000, and no longer makes any sense.*

  • avatar

    Land Rover won’t be worried about the F pace. They already have waiting lists for the RR and RR Sport and all other models are strong sellers. Indeed Land Rovers sales dropped 8% last month because they couldn’t obtain enough stock for their dealers.

    The F pace will be transformative for Jag. Once they get a smaller SUV in the line up I think you will really see sales soar. JLR combined could catch-up the likes of Audi quicker than most people realise.

  • avatar

    The things that made Jaguar desirable don’t matter to most of the market anymore. It’s basically the Mazda of an increasingly commodified luxury market. And “for us” this doesn’t look tempting- I’m not going to commit to a $600 lease payment I want 6 cylinders AND, not OR, a manual transmission. 3 series remains king

    • 0 avatar

      You’re that lil enthusiast minority who nobody cares about or can build a business around in modern times!

      • 0 avatar

        What made Jaguar Jaguar were it’s older style “Four Eyes” vehicles with classic lines and ultra-lux handcrafted English interiors with the finest leathers and richest woods. They were more after comfort than sport, but still drove well.

        The new Jaguars aren’t bad, but they’ve come too much in the position of trying to beat Mercedes and BMW at their own game, which hasn’t worked out too well.

        • 0 avatar

          Yea, I used to consider Jaguars the best looking cars on the road. In the current world of gaping grilles, stubby trunks, and tortured cut lines, the old XJ or XK are just knee-weakeningly beautiful.

          But I guess no one bought those.

          Now they are just English Infiniti. Which I guess isn’t the worst thing ever, but it doesn’t make me want to spend $40-$60K on one either.

          • 0 avatar

            The 2002-2009 XJ was just about the perfect Jaguar. It carried the traditional styling, but looked timeless instead of dated. The AJ-V8 was very smooth and it retained the bespoke interior.

            I don’t think it would hurt Jaguar much to make a more traditional vehicle like this and keep it in the lineup.

          • 0 avatar

            You won’t see another “traditional” styled XJ, for very similar reasons to why Panthers are dead: that kind of car doesn’t sell any more, just the same as the big “personal luxury coupes” from the 70’s are gone.

        • 0 avatar

          Mandalorian, I generally agree with you. I would make a small argument that Jaguar seems to have some great styling lately. I’ve only seen a couple in person, but I like the look of the F-pace and although I have very little interest in luxury sedans, I see quite a few XJ’s and think they look great. I also think the F-type was a great release for them and looks fantastic. Sure they may not sell a lot, but it is a great image car and very popular where I live, especially the F-type R. I suspect it will be very little time before I see some F-Type SVR’s.

          Of course, I had a couple friends with older Jaguars that reinforced a poor reputation.

  • avatar

    It’s no wonder sales were down. So 58% of May sales were the XE and F-Pace. What were those cars replacing? They had huge gaps in their offerings. The smallest sedan they had was what, the worn-out XF? A car that costs too much when a Mercedes is a known commodity that will hold its value much better.

    I look forward to seeing the XE on the road. It looks good in pictures. I would dread buying one though. The nearest Jaguar dealer looks like a shady used car dealership, not even on the main road.

  • avatar

    WTF is with that marketing hashtagery, it suggests a lack of market awareness. See #TheAudition… yeah it has THE AUDI as the first seven letters which if you’re not Audi… is maybe not so as the Brits put it so often, Brilliant!

  • avatar

    Drove the F-Pace the other day and it is very good, probably the closest thing to a Porsche SUV out there in driving dynamics. The new infotainment system is excellent, vastly superior to the old one, a lot like Audi’s now. The XE looks good too, didn’t have time to drive it though.

  • avatar

    Yes, I am very concerned about Jaguar’s historical reliability:

    The F Pace should sell well, it’s an attractive vehicle and keenly priced. Nice to see a diesel available too, although I would have preferred the 3.0 V6D instead of the 2.0D.

  • avatar

    If the actual reliability is considerably better than the perception of reliability, the F-Pace may be a stellar used buy in 3 years time.

  • avatar

    I finally got to see a Jaguar XF in the wild. The car was ahead of me at the stoplight, waiting next to a Dodge Charger SXT. I thought the Jag – all black – was quite a striking car. It has lost some of it’s “Britishness” but if I was in search of an overpriced luxury car that I couldn’t afford, the Jag would be high on my list just as a stand out from the others.

    • 0 avatar

      Let’s hope they lost the traditional “Britishness” that plagues most English cars: dodgy electronics, indifferent build quality, oil and fluid leaks, etc.

      I love British cars and owned several, but they’ve always been abusive automotive spouses….

  • avatar

    Jaguar has always been the ‘marching to a different drummer’ make. It’s definitely not selling mainly because it never could get out from under the historic collapse of the British Auto Industry (and American attempts to crush them) along with the Germans just building rock-solid cars.

    Though I would say until maybe the 1990s when BMW really ramped up power in their models a standard XJ8/S would knock the stuffing out of a BMW in a straight line and if you knew how to tool around a corner with it. But this is always going to be about fitting into the corporate park parking lot more than anything else. Also, what’s the current lease structure on Jags? It appears to be generous on the XE but not nearly as generous as the others…

    Do time will tell but I don’t mind. I’m going to eventually land a jag as a second car just for tooling around with and the more F-paces they get out the door to keep the F-types around is fine.

    • 0 avatar

      I would say that the Jaguar XJ8 didn’t exist until 1997, and by then BMW had been making their own 4-cam V8 sedans for four years. BMWs were faster than Jaguars pretty much from the introduction of the M30 in 1968, with the exception of the XJS which was only beaten by the 3.0 CSL of the mid ’70s, the M635CSi, the M1, the M5, and eventually the 750iL during its run. Did I forget the 850i and 850CSi? And the various cars powered by M60 V8s?

      • 0 avatar

        XJ6 was what I should have mentioned and if we’re throwing M-cars into the mix why bother? Purpose built high-HP cars are a different breed from a base 3/5/6 series that emerged. If you want to compare apples to apples, we would have to go into jaguar’s racing shed to grab out the supercharged cars that emerged in the 1980s.

        But sure, lets throw advanced and intentionally built sports cars against high-powered sedans that were more sporty than sports car. That makes perfect sense…. *eye roll*

        I appreciate your attitude for knowing BMW, but failing to recognize the context makes me wonder what it was all about?

        • 0 avatar

          The M30 wasn’t a Motorsport engine. It was the standard ‘big’ six cylinder in everything from the 2500 of 1968 to the 735i of 1992. The only Jaguar I compared the performance BMWs to was the XJS that served as Jaguar’s GT for decades. Are you operating under the misapprehension that the XJ6 MKIII 4.2 would have seen which way a 533i went, or that the 533i was a homologation special?

          • 0 avatar

            The M30 never broke 208 HP. The 4.2L offered in XJ6s could achieve 220HP net. The reality that Jaguar offered more powerful engines out of the box is out there for research.

            I’m looking through 0-60 times and it is pretty clear that Jaguar XJ6s are faster to 60 all through the 1970s and only in the 1980s does BMW start to overtake them without going to the Jaguar V12.

            It’s clear, BMW’s base cars were not as fast. Arguably they were more maneuverable but it’s clear their 2.0 & 2.3L engines offered in the base cars weren’t faster and were as expensive as an XJ6 at the time.

          • 0 avatar

            You’re comparing modified European spec Jaguars to standard spec BMWs. US spec Jaguar 4.2s had 162-186 hp, much like US-spec 2.8-3.2 liter BMWs, but the Jaguars invariably had inefficient automatics and weighed at least 20% more. “The (Jaguar)4.2-litre engine from the factory had unsmoothed steps between the inlet manifold and head and the manifold gaskets were not a good match for the inlet ports. These engines therefore make excellent bases for some modification, achieving approx. 220 bhp (164 kW; 223 PS) SAE net and increased torque merely by “flowing” the head.” That’s compared to stock net hp of 170. You can modify the heads of almost any old engine to make more power. BMW did have cars that emphasized fuel efficiency more in Europe, but Jaguar also had smaller displacement XJ6s available there at the time that weren’t particularly quick.


            Here’s a comparison test of the BMW Bavaria and Jaguar XJ6 4.2, both in US trim. The BMW was 9.4 seconds quicker to 100 mph and 9 mph faster in top speed. Compare apples to apples, and you’ll see that you’re operating on misconceptions that have nothing to do with choices facing luxury car shoppers in the US during the ’70s or ’80s.

  • avatar
    John R

    “Indian-owned British carmaker”

    Always an enjoyable bit of irony

  • avatar

    Did they not get the memo?

    They need to overtly present themselves as a maker of cars for women.

    Only then can they get any sales growth.

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