Jaguar Now the Fastest-Growing Automaker in the U.S., Thanks the SUV Gods
It worked for Porsche. Now, another luxury automaker is reaping the rewards of catering to the utility crowd.
Jaguar’s decision to market an SUV raised the ire of purists, but it also turbocharged the brand’s U.S. comeback, Bloomberg reports. The British automaker is now the fastest-growing brand in the U.S., with sales propelled by the new F-Pace SUV and entry-level XE sedan.
Jaguar’s 59 percent increase in vehicle sales since the start of the year outpaces other automakers by far. Volvo, the closest resurgent brand, only saw half of Jag’s sales growth.
“We couldn’t be more tickled,” said Chris Marchand, executive vice president of operations at Jaguar Land Rover North America, told Bloomberg. “Foot traffic in dealerships has more than tripled.”
The F-Pace arrived at dealers in May, and Jaguar has already sold 3,398 of them. During that first sales month, the F-Pace and XE accounted for 58 percent of the brand’s total volume. Clearly, it pays to branch out, but Jaguar’s expanded lineup hasn’t brought it back to past sales glories — at least not yet.
Timothy Cain, TTAC’s resident sales stats guru, says recent product failures skewed the automaker’s comeback story.
“Jaguar sold 61,204 cars, just cars, in 2002,” said Cain. “Then the rapid decline began. We’ve come to assume that Jaguar is a brand that can sell 15,000 vehicles per year in the U.S., so the fact that they can more than double that this year and next is striking. But one would expect that massively increasing the size of your lineup would inflate sales. Still, one shouldn’t ignore one’s prior successes are still a ways off. Jaguar was selling more than 5,000 cars per month in 2002; 3,800 per month in 2004. With F-Pace and XE ramping up, the average over the last three months is around 2,800 U.S. per month.”
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I realize that the F-Pace will (likely) be the sales leader for Jaguar, but if it keeps cars like the F-Type on the road, then so be it! There's a red F-Type that leaves the base every afternoon about the same time I do, and I've never once not absolutely drooled on myself each time I've seen it. I guess much the same way Porsche has bankrolled lower volume cars with the Cayenne and Macan, so goes Jaguar. So I guess the answer to just about everybody's sales problems is: SUV/CUV.
I don't think Land Rover will be worried by the F Pace given that the Discovery Sport is their best selling car globally.