Joe Greenwell: The styling of past Jaguars was ‘too conservative.’
“We want profitable sales, and have moved away from incentive-driven strategies,” Joe Greenwell, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover told the Automotive News Europe Congress. Jaguar’s production dropped 22.8 percent to 27,139 units in the first quarter compared with the same period last year.
Greenwell said thinning its stock of unsold cars will allow the British sports car brand to move away from discounting.
Jaguar has abandoned its goal of making 200,000 cars a year. Last year it produced 118,000 cars and Greenwell declined to name the 2005 production volume, saying only that it would be substantially less than 2004.
Greenwell said the first-quarter drop in production is in line with Jaguar’s recovery plan, which includes the closing of its assembly plant at Browns Lane in Coventry, England. The plant will stop production in September.
“Capacity utilization at Browns Lane was only 37 percent,” Greenwell said.
Production of the flagship XJ sedan moved from Browns Lane to the nearby Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham, England, last summer. In January 2006, Jaguar will begin producing the next-generation XK sports car in Castle Bromwich.
“That will mark a new era for Jaguar,” Greenwell said of the XK. “We have learnt our lessons. Jaguars were too conservative in style. But this new XK will be uncompromised.”
The mid-sized S-type sedan also is made at the Castle Bromwich factory.
Because of the changes and the additional work that is planned, Greenwell said capacity use at the Castle Bromwich plant will rise to 80 percent from 60 percent.
Jaguar, which is part of Ford Motor Co.’s Premier Automotive Group, has lost an estimated $1.5 billion in the past three years.
“It is our mission to remove the burden [from Ford], but it is not a quick fix,” Greenwell said. “I don’t expect Jaguar to break even before 2007.”