Jaguar will boost its ad spending about 60 percent this year, a move dealers welcomed warmly at the Jaguar make meeting.
'This year is a big expansion,' said Mike Dale, president of Jaguar Cars North America, the U.S. sales and marketing subsidiary.
Jaguar does not disclose its ad spending, but published reports put it around $20 million before the 60 percent increase.
Dealers also eagerly discussed upcoming models at the make meeting.
'We're getting ramped up for higher volume,' said Brian Allan, general manager of Galpin Jaguar in Van Nuys, Calif.
The Jaguar S-Type will debut in the United States in the second quarter of this year. 'The focus is on the S-Type entirely,' Allan said.
Jaguar Cars expects record U.S. sales this year - more than 30,000 vs. 22,503 in 1998. Dale said U.S. sales should increase again next year, to about 40,000. The S-Type, which shares a platform with the Lincoln LS6 and LS8, competes with the BMW 5 series.
The next all-new model, codenamed X400, will be a smaller car expected to compete with the BMW 3 series. It is due in 2001.
That should boost sales to between 60,000 and 70,000, Dale said.
He said Jaguar encourages exclusive dealerships, but, unlike some of its competitors, Jaguar has no plans to force dealers to build them.