Jaguar and Land Rover revise downward German unit sales

Schwalbach, Germany. Jaguar and Land Rover both are revising down their unit sales forecasts for Germany.

For Jaguar, "we will not be able to reach the planned 6,000 new registrations this year. I expect between 5,200 and 5,500 units, said Rainer Landwehr, Germany's Jaguar and Land Rover boss.

Landwehr pointed out that the premium car segment is currently on a downward trend with a drop of almost 20 percent.

He noted that his revised forecast would still mean unit sales would be up more than 10 percent from 2003, when the importer had 4,970 new registrations of the British luxury brands.

Currently only the Jaguar X-type, the bottom-of-the-range model, is successful on the market, especially the station wagon and the diesel models.

The diesel share for the X-type series lies at 71 percent, the wagon share at 73 percent.

Jaguar plans to build on the success of its diesel models and will start so-called "diesel days on September 25. The brand will be advertising in the print media for four weeks.

The company will also offer attractive financing and leasing. The financing offer will include a 1.9 percent net annual interest rate and 15 percent minimum down payment.

Landwehr is also changing his forecast for the Land Rover off-road brand. "I expect a maximum of 8,300 units for Land Rover in 2004," he said.

This would be up 300 from last year, but down from a projection of 8,500 made at the beginning of the year.

The reason for the downward revision is delivery bottlenecks for the Freelander, which has diesel engines supplied by BMW. Customers have to wait three to four months for this model.

Landwehr also noted that the Discovery is reaching the end of its life cycle. The model's successor will be available from November and the executive said there have been a substantial number of new orders already.

Landwehr plans to broaden the target customer group for Land Rover beyond traditional wealthy yacht owners, horse riders and forest rangers. New customers should come from security services and airports, he said.

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