By on January 20, 2017

2017 Jaguar F-Pace - Image: JaguarJaguar Land Rover North America LLC sold its first 10,016 Jaguar SUVs in the United States in the final eight months of 2016. The new F-Pace was a major factor contributing to Jaguar’s 116-percent year-over-year growth last year.

Jaguar also reported a 47-percent jump in passenger car sales — yes, car sales — in 2016.

As a result, no auto brand operating in the United States posted more significant sales growth in 2016.

So, Jaguar’s back? Not quite.

Globally, Jaguar Land Rover — and even the Jaguar brand itself — has never been more popular. Jaguar sold a record-high 148,730 new vehicles around the world in 2016. Three-in-ten were F-Paces.

Around the world, 25 percent of the vehicles sold by Tata’s JLR in 2016 were Jaguars, up seven points compared with 2015.

Yet in the U.S., specifically, Jaguar’s sales in 2016 were only half as strong in 2016 as they were 14 years ago.

In 2002, Jaguar USA, then under Ford Motor Company’s control, sold 61,204 new vehicles. Jaguar’s lineup was strikingly different and decidedly retro.

The entry-level Ford Mondeo-related X-Type accounted for more than half of the Jaguars sold in America in 2002, and sales of the flagship XJ were twice as numerous as they are now — and still on the rise.2017 Jaguar XE - Image: JaguarJaguar got back into the entry-luxury sports sedan game in the second quarter of 2016, launching the new XE in concert with the new F-Pace. XE sales are steadily rising, but Jaguar is only selling around 800 XEs per month in the U.S., roughly one-third the volume the X-Type generated at its peak.

Jaguar also introduced in 2016 a new XF, the brand’s mid-range car. XF sales consequently climbed to a three-year high.

In the passenger car world, “new” did not necessarily equal “more popular” in 2016. The launch of a new Mercedes-Benz E-Class — a segment leader in the XF’s arena — resulted in a 9-percent year-over-year decline. Naturally, the XF remains a low-volume car, but the new XF was able to ride Jaguar’s wave, posting improvements in eight of the last twelve months.

Jaguar’s F-Type, the lone remaining sports car in the range, was the only model in the lineup to lose sales compared with 2015. F-Type volume slid 12 percent, a loss of 560 units. Jaguar XJ sales grew 6 percent, a modest uptick of 223 units compared with 2015.

Even if Jaguar’s passenger car lineup had not recorded growth in 2016, the surge produced by the brand’s first-ever SUV would have been more than enough to make Jaguar America’s fastest-growing auto brand. Since the F-Pace launch in May, four out of every ten Jaguars sold in America were F-Paces.

Fastest-Growing
Auto Brands
2016
2015
% Change
+ Sales
Increase (Units)
Jaguar 31,243 14,466 116%  +16,777
Volvo 82,724 70,047 18.1% +12,677
Ram 545,851 491,170 11.1% +54,681
Lincoln 111,724 101,227 10.4% +10,497
Maserati 12,534 11,693 7.2% +841
Jeep 926,376 872,908 6.1% +53,468
Subaru 615,132 582,675 5.6% +32,457
Nissan 1,426,130 1,351,420 5.5% +74,710
Porsche 54,280 51,756 4.9% +2,524
Honda 1,476,582 1,409,386 4.8% +67,196

Of course, rapid percentage growth at a niche brand such as Jaguar (or Volvo, a former Ford PAG brand that jumped 18 percent) is easier to produce than at mainstream volume brands. Gains in market share were much more significant at Ram, Jeep, Subaru, Nissan, and Honda. Those brands averaged growth of an extra 56,500 sales in 2016.

Jaguar, admittedly with an impressive response to a wise investment, added merely 16,777 sales to its U.S. ledger.

Yet even if Jaguar carries 2016’s Q4 sales pace through the whole of 2017, the brand’s dealers will still be selling roughly 30-percent fewer new vehicles than they did in 2002.

Ram, Jeep, Subaru, Nissan, and Honda, on the other hand, all reported all-time record U.S. sales in 2016.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, 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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38 Comments on “Jaguar Was America’s Fastest-growing Auto Brand in 2016, and Not Just Because of an SUV...”


  • avatar

    As a Jaguar fan, this makes me happy…largely because there will be a better selection of pre-owned vehicles in the future.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Jag will add a compact and 7 seat SUV and redesign the XJ and F-type. I think they are going to be fine.

    They do need to work on the quality of their base trims in the XE and F-pace. That has been the only real complaint I’ve seen regarding them.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      Exactly. The E-Pace is around the corner, and probably a J-Pace (will they call it that?) not too far off.

      Volvo will also keep growing with the new XC40.

      The real question is why isn’t Maserati selling more vehicles? (well, I mean we know why…) They have basically the same product portfolio as Jaguar – Large and medium sized sedan. Sports car/ grand tourer. Crossover.

      Its not like one is obviously higher quality than the other. Anybody have ideas?

      • 0 avatar
        Mike N.

        Maserati has the taint of FIAT. Plus many Maserati dealerships I’ve seen are part of a FCA combi-dealer.

      • 0 avatar
        ranchero_collectivo

        Maserati’s pricing themselves way too high and offering little in return. Jag’s smart because while their cars can get just as expensive as the Germans (see F-Type and the higher trims of the F-Pace), their low-to-mid level trim cars are better equipped than the comparable MB, BMW, or Audi for comparable leasing terms ($559 for the Jag XF 35t AWD vs $549 for the BMW 535i xDrive gets you leather seats, for example). The cheapest Ghibli to lease is $707 (!), and it doesn’t even have AWD when this market strongly demands it.

        Now, I get it if they think selling too many cars would kill their status as an “exotic” carmaker, so they are limiting supply and selling every car they make at full MSRP. I wonder if this is the case because the dealer in my city has no incentives on any of their cars.

        EDIT: Whoops, meant to say $739 for the Maserati. Been reading too much Dodge Demon news lately.

      • 0 avatar
        Acd

        Part of it is the F-Pace has been on sale longer than the Maserati SUV. Maseratis are also priced much higher–they don’t have anything with a sticker price under $70k like Jaguar does and most of their vehicles sticker between $80k and $90k–Quattroportes and Gran Sports are all over $100k.

        Jaguar is also more a mainstream brand than Maserati has ever been–its a lot easier to explain buying a Jaguar to your friends and family than a Maserati.

        • 0 avatar
          Speed3

          I still think that FCA is walking away from money if Alfa Romeo and Maserati do not have at least 3 crossovers in their line-up. They will probably never sell at Porsche volume, but 20-25K sales isn’t unrealistic for Maserati.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        For one, it seems that Alfa would be the more direct competitor based on plans and lineups. I don’t know how the new models will go but all of the press has been VERY positive.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Good to see like others here I am rooting for Jag, came fairly close to buying a used XF this year but could not pull the trigger, I drive to many miles for a Jag to hold up I think, but maybe next time I am in the market I will make the leap.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Jaguar: for men who’d like sex from beautiful women they hardly know.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    “Ford Mondeo-related X-Type”

    Why does everyone still go on and on like a broken record about the X type being Mondeo related?

    It was a minority of parts that went into the X type, and the then contemporary Mondeo had gotten positive reviews.

    Nobody goes on about VW Passat-related A4s, or Skoda Fabia-related Audi A1s and the likes.

    Saab built a car on a Vectra platform, that car as a Vauxhall (or Opel) was slated in the press, yet the Swedes at the time seemed to have mostly gotten away with it. (Though history shows it didn’t end well).

    Nonetheless, platform sharing is the modern corporate way. In many ways Jaguar under Ford were ahead of their time by basing their entry level car on an existing, repected, tested and proven platform.

    For example – the current Infiniti Q30 and Mercedes A class are related to the Renault Megane – the successor to the Renault 9/11/Alliance/Encore!!!

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Nobody goes on about VW Passat-related A4s, or Skoda Fabia-related Audi A1s and the likes.”

      Probably because they weren’t utter junk. Unfortunately, the X-type was.

      • 0 avatar
        lon888

        A co-worker got a “killer deal” on an X-type from a fellow church member. Two days after the purchase he got a mysterious puddle under his car which got bigger day after day. Took it to his mechanic and come to find out the transmissions was shelling. Just a minor $5000 repear. He didn’t hold onto it much longer after that. Ahhh the Jaguar owner experience….

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      What Saab did amounted to a total re-engineering of whatever platform GM told them to use. It wasn’t cooperative design, it was covert design. One typical example is that the last 9-3 convertible got top safety ratings all over the world, but the “same platform” Pontiac G6 convertible was a deathtrap. Saab did way more than style the sheetmetal and option-up the interior.

      I’m not sure that the Mondeo got positive reviews, outside of England. For whatever reason, British mags are incapable of saying bad things about (supposedly) British cars, even when they are designed and manufactured in Germany.

      We got the previous generation as the Ford Contour, and it was junk. It drove like a barge (unlike the first Focus that had great steering), it was too small on the inside compared to the outside, and it was notoriously unreliable. They went through power steering racks regularly, and the job cost more to do than the car was worth. A Ford tech told me it was two full days of frustration.

    • 0 avatar
      Exfordtech

      Because the Mondeo/Common/Mistake was a pile of junk.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      18% of the parts are common between the Mondeo and the X Type. Mainly the center section of the floorpan and some suspension components, and some HVAC parts.

      I own and X Type and my parents do. For those in winter climates, it’s a great car the AWD is fantastic. So far my biggest failure is a wheel bearing, but I hit a pothole that was covered in snow thus I couldn’t see it and it also blew the tire; so I’m not going to blame the car for that.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      WallMeerkat, It’s cool to hate platform sharing when an American company is involved. Haven’t you learned that by now?

      ion888, if we’re going anecdotal, I owned the Mercury version of that car for 13 years. Sold it to my neighbor, who has now had it 4 years. At 17 years old, it’s had a hub replaced and some seals replaced. More money has been spent on tires for the car than repairs. The interior and exterior are still pristine. I can only imagine how good a similarly maintained X-Type might be.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Jaguar’s styling direction is a mixed bag.

    The F-Pace is actually pretty attractive, as is the F-Type, but their four door sedans are literally on the same level, or even a notch or two less inspiring than a Kia Optima.

    And the elephant in the room, which had dogged Cadillac, for many of the same reasons, is whether Jaguar will try to produce cushy, pampering luxury vehicles, or aggressively tuned & set-up harder-core sports cars/CUVs to sort of project an AMG vibe (or will they do both, with two separate lineups?).

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Jaguar has a reputation for balancing comfort and sport over the last 10 or 15 years. I’ve only driven the prior generation XF, but I think that car earns the reputation. Comfortable but still reasonably engaging.

      I’m not thrilled with the current interior design; it doesn’t stand out compared to some of the nicer volume players, at least not in pictures.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        I’ve always found the XF, XJ and now, the XE to be absolutely fine looking cars. And its probably because the non Americans here see these cars in isolation… I’ve heard American reviews compare it to some American saloon that I have no affinity for.

        The XJ has a troubling C pillar but besides that, the car looks mint.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Jaguar’s sales increase has come primarily from new models (XE and F-pace) and a slight uptick in XF sales due to the new model, but the XF hasn’t exactly lit the sale chart on fire and is significantly off the pace from its 2009 sales.

      The problem with Jaguar is that they have followed the same template as Cadillac.

      Focusing too much on handling/performance and scrimping on things that the majority of luxury buyers place greater importance upon like interior space and interior quality (which is what Mercedes has been getting right and what Jaguar used to do much better than the Germans).

      Always had a soft-spot for Jaguar and prefer the looks of the XE to any of the Germans (esp. since BMW has ruined the 3 Series), but for many buyers, the XE has too many comprises compared to the C Class, the new A4 and likely the upcoming 3 Series replacement (that is, if BMW doesn’t mess it up).

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The big cat roars, sort of.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    It seems as though I retired at the proper time. If I hadn’t, changing times and my inability to recognize trends would have meant no bonus and negative reviews. I thought the S-Type and the X were both fitting entry level Jaguars, and the aluminium architecture of the XJ a perfect upgrade for a traditional British carmaker. I guess it just goes to show how deeply the English rooted into the Indian subconsciousness. They now know what the Brits want better than the Brits themselves. Tata has done a great job with both Jag and LR.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Jaguar will get stronger from here on in. Once the new looks settle into the American Psche I think sales will soar past 2002 levels. If Ford’s American bosses hadn’t forced Jaguar’s UK management to make the retro styled S type and X Type the UK and European markets would have delivered stronger sales much sooner. The fact that TATA has basically told JLR to do what they want has liberated the company and turned them round.

    The funny thing is that JLR now account for about 85% of all TATA motors profits. So I suspect JLR basically get to do whatever they want now.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I have a friend who bought a 2016 XF 35t, lightly optioned. I’ve had a couple of chances to drive and be driven in it. I would choose a Lexus GS instead, but could easily see why a decision would go the other way.

    Positives: Gorgeous inside and out. The supercharged six is a fantastic engine, very responsive with a linear powerband and a wide rev range. Handling is tight and you can easily feel the car’s weight advantage against the competition. The Meridian stereo sounds nice enough (comparable to the H/K system in a BMW) although not like the Mark Levinson system in a Lexus.

    Cons: The ride (on 19s) is harsh enough that I really can’t make excuses for it. There is a shocking amount of road noise for a luxury car, and unpleasantly resonant crashes over any moderate or larger bumps (like potholes or worn freeway expansion joints). It’s much worse than anything else I’ve driven in the segment. Material quality is a bit lacking except for the leather, which is very nice. The infotainment interface is clunkier than the German competition and occasionally suffers glitches.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “Cons: The ride (on 19s) is harsh enough that I really can’t make excuses for it. There is a shocking amount of road noise for a luxury car, and unpleasantly resonant crashes over any moderate or larger bumps (like potholes or worn freeway expansion joints). It’s much worse than anything else I’ve driven in the segment.”

      These two important deficiencies qualify it as being a total fail, IMO.

      Unless the vehicle in question is intended to be a dedicated sports coupe/sedan, there’s absolutely no excuse for that harsh a ride nor that much interior noise, especially for a Jaguar Sedan.

      The absolute ruination of ride quality and road noise suppression in what should be premium or luxury GT style sedans and coupes is inexcusable. You can get a better ride and quieter interior in a Camry for 22 grand.

      Yet another reason highlighted as to why the gap between volume vehicles and “premium/luxury” cache vehicles is diminishing to the point-point of near meaningless.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    My Dad has an XF and I have to say it’s the best car in its class by a mile. It has effortless power, lots of grip and for a big car goes well through the corners. In Europe it sells because it reguarly comes first for performance and handling above all the German brands which have sacrificed these things in the name of comfort. Interestingly I think Americans prioritise comfort over performance whereas in Europe it’s all about the power and ability to corner.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    Heard on a golf course, among the rich lowlifes:

    “Hey, I just got an F-Pace!”

    “Oh, I didn’t know you had a bad heart!”

    “No, it’s the new SUV from Jaguar.”

    “Oh, you mean the vehicle they should have called the ‘OCELOT’!!”

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    yeah, i ‘memmer the early oughts. seemed there were a crapton of jag/fords around, mostly X types.

  • avatar
    Marty S

    The XE is more expensive than the previous X-type. That car was advertised for $30,000 but in reality, a well equipped X-type was about $35,000 in 2002, and a top of the line VDP X-Type was $40,000 in 2005. I just got a fairly well equipped 2017 XE that listed for $55,000 and they go as high as $60,000, notwithstanding that they are advertised for $37,500. The XE is a great car, but i think that sticker shock is a factor in the lower comparable sales the article points out.

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