Jaguar’s U.S. volume more than doubled in 2016, rising to a 12-year high thanks to the launch of an all-new entry-level sedan and the brand’s first-ever SUV.
The XE and F-Pace, which now account for nearly three-quarters of Jaguar’s U.S. volume, have taken the brand to a high-volume place (relatively speaking) Jaguar hasn’t visited since the X-Type roamed dealer forecourts.
One year ago, those models didn’t exist, and Jaguar was selling fewer than 50 cars per day in America.
Now Jaguar’s on fire. Year-over-year growth is explosive, with Jaguar’s U.S. volume more than doubling in each of the last ten months and more than tripling in each of 2016’s final three months.
That level of growth can’t be sustained. Jaguar Land Rover North America’s CEO Joachim Eberhardt told Wards Auto, “We have to continue to grow, but we are not looking to grow at the pace we have been.”
All that growth “still does not make us a giant luxury brand,” Eberhardt says. “It makes us a bigger luxury brand that now has scale but is still special and exclusive.”
There’s the key word. Exclusive. “I think that is part of our appeal and something to focus on maintaining,” claims Eberhardt.
What a revolutionary approach for a premium auto brand.
“Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go South, young man, go South and grow up with the country.” —Not Horace Greeley
Subaru generates 60 percent of its global sales in the United States. For a Japanese brand that still relies on imports for half of its volume in its largest market, Subaru knows that 60-percent reliance on America is way too high.
Subaru needs strength in other markets. Subaru needs to diversify its portfolio. Subaru needs another America.
Unfortunately for Subaru, history suggests the brand won’t quickly find strength in other markets. History suggests Subaru’s attempts to diversify its portfolio won’t succeed.
Fortunately for Subaru, however, there is more America.
“It’s true we want to increase sales in other countries, but in terms of the place with the best chance to increase sales, it has to be America’s Sun Belt,” Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, CEO at Subaru’s Fuji Heavy Industries parent company, told Bloomberg.
In other words, Subaru wants to add some New Orleans to its order of New Hampshire; Burlington with a side of Birmingham; Kennebunkport supplemented with a dose of Port St. Lucie.
Jaguar 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.
With a forecast of low sales growth in Europe expected to remain in place for the next few years, Honda has decided to scale back production at its plant in Swindon, England.
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