Ford Motor Co.'s Jaguar luxury car division is working to take the cost out of its aluminum-bodied XJ luxury sports sedan.
Mark White, body structures senior manager for Jaguar and Land Rover, said the automaker has come up with a roadmap to reduce the manufacturing costs of the British-built $65,000 luxury sedan.
"We have a cost roadmap," he said at yesterday's Management Briefing Seminars. "We understand what the aluminum car costs vs. an equivalent steel car and we've looked at where the cost differential is and the cost makeup. We have already started hitting some of the targets on the roadmap."
One way to cut costs, White said, is to recycle scrap aluminum from the factory floor. Using more recycled aluminum also will reduce costs.
Because Jaguar decided to use aluminum instead of steel, the British automaker is paying about 40 more to construct the XJ6's monocoque, or one-piece, body. The body sections are joined by adhesives and rivets.
Although Jaguar is losing money, White said the XJ is profitable. It is, he said, the most profitable car in the Jaguar lineup.
"We've looked at the whole value chain," he said. "Clearly the material cost is still the biggest factor. So, we are going to look at design optimization. We are going to look at material utilization and stampings and we are going to look at all the other cost drivers."
White would not say whether Jaguar will replace the automaker's other cars with aluminum when the time comes to replace them.