PAMPLONA, Spain -- Jaguar is lowering its prices and rolling out free scheduled maintenance in the United States to remove what customers cite as key reasons consumers reject the British brand: high purchase and maintenance costs.
The free EliteCare 5-year/60,000-mile scheduled maintenance warranty and new pricing will launch with the 2016 model year. On average, Jaguar is lowering the price of its cars between $1,500 and $3,000 by slashing the base price or increasing standard equipment, said Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America. The repricing will make “all models significantly more affordable,” he said.
“The Jaguar brand is on the eve of a major transformation that will see it dramatically increase its presence in the United States luxury marketplace with an expanded lineup, pricing focused on the core of the luxury market and an all-new ownership package with best-in-class coverage,” Eberhardt said.
Jaguar's U.S. sales fell 4.4 percent to 10,221 cars through August.
To boost sales, Jaguar is lowering sticker prices in segments the brand wants to target, he said. “We will substantially increase equipment on vehicles where we will not lower the MSRP,” Eberhardt added.
For instance, the base price on the redesigned XF midsize sedan has been cut 9 percent, or $5,275, to $52,895, including shipping. The XF was the most expensive car in the segment, but Jaguar says it is now less than comparable V-6 versions of the Audi A6, BMW 5 series, Cadillac CTS and Mercedes-Benz E class.
Equipment levels across the range have been improved 10 to 20 percent. Base prices on the F-Type coupe or convertible remain the same, but the cars have between $4,000 and $12,000 of additional standard equipment, depending on the model.
Jaguar was often perceived as one of the most expensive brands and buyer surveys showed that price is the top reason a consumer will reject a luxury brand. With the new price strategy, “we are positioned at the heart depending on how you do the price comparison,” Eberhardt said. “Directionally, we are below all the Germans and we are par or slightly above the Asia or domestic competitors.”
The brand is also launching three equipment packages -- premium, prestige and R-Sport -- to simplify ordering and reduce complexity, Eberhardt said. Ninety percent of Jaguar options will be in those packages, he said: “We did not have option packages, and it was inconsistent and random for each model.”
Jaguar is making the moves as it prepares to launch two vehicles into new segments -- the XE compact sedan in April and the F-Pace midsize crossover in May. Starting next year, Jaguar expects these vehicles will represent 60 percent of its U.S. sales volume, Eberhardt said.
The product range will now start with the $35,895 entry XE, rising to $75,395 for the full-size XJ sedan that competes with the Mercedes-Benz S class and BMW 7 series. Prices include shipping.
Eberhardt said pricing for the F-Pace will be announced when the crossover is unveiled this month at the Frankfurt auto show.
The free scheduled maintenance program will include roadside assistance and Jaguar’s new InControl Protect and Remote system that allows the owner to monitor the car and perform various functions using an app on a smartphone.
The 5-year/60,000-mile warranty is 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than the plans offered by BMW and Cadillac. Jaguar will also allow the warranty to be transferred to a second owner. It does not cover wear-and-tear parts such as brakes or wipers.
Jaguar will launch a major marketing campaign to promote its pricing and new warranty and take a test drive program on the road to seven major cities starting this year. Cities include Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Miami and New York. Eberhardt said Jaguar hopes the road tour will have at least 10,000 visitors.
“From a product substance, we are every bit as competitive as our main rivals,” Eberhardt said. “I can say we do not have to hide from anybody in terms of how good our cars are.”