TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Jaguar is working to take the cost out of its aluminum-bodied XJ8 luxury sports sedan.
Mark White, body structures senior manager for Jaguar and Land Rover, said the automaker has created a way to reduce the manufacturing costs of the British-built $65,000 luxury sedan.
"We have a cost road map," he said here last week at the 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 road map."
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 percent more to construct the XJ8's one-piece body.
The body sections are joined by adhesives and rivets.
Although Jaguar is losing money, White said the XJ8 is the most profitable car in the 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.