Jaguar sales dropped 10.7 percent in 2003, and now dealers are afraid that the company will raise vehicle prices because of the weak dollar.
Tom Coughlin, dealer principal of Jaguar Mount Kisco in Mount Kisco, N.Y., feels that Jaguar's cars are priced competitively, but he worries that the dollar's weakness against the British pound will result in pricing pressure.
Mike O'Driscoll, president of Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America, said exchange rates "are a business pressure we take into account."
While declining to say that Jaguar will hold its prices, even if it means punishing the bottom line, O'Driscoll said, "We need to stay competitive in the marketplace."
O'Driscoll also told dealers that Jaguar is looking for ways to reduce build and stock complexity for new cars, making it easier for dealers to order cars more consistently and keep inventories lower. Jaguar started that program for the 2004 X-Type and will follow through with the rest of the model line this year.
Jaguar also unveiled advertising for all vehicle lines. Though still tagged as "born to perform," the ads are a bit lighter in tone and express the vehicles as "beautiful fast cars," Coughlin said.
Bruce Qvale, vice president of British Motor Cars in San Francisco, likes the slightly whimsical tone of the advertising. "The ads are going a little younger, and we need that because Jaguar has traditionally been an older buyer," Qvale said.
Ken Gorin, president of The Collection in Coral Gables, Fla., feels the realignment of the X-Type sedan lineup has been successful.
After selling the deal on the 2.5-liter X-Type almost since its launch, Jaguar for 2004 placed more emphasis on the 3.0-liter model, while cutting the higher-end car's price by about $5,000.