Fleet News

Jaguar steers closer to German executive rivals

JAGUAR chairman Nick Scheele is claiming victory in the first round of his campaign to woo motorists from German-built rivals which dominate the executive sector of the corporate car market. Intensive work to position the luxury car brand as more accessible business transport is paying spectacular results in the run-up to next month's launch of the S-type - the first of the Coventry company's new generation of more affordable executive models.

With huge numbers of advance orders for the S-type significant efforts are now being made to ensure wholelife costs for the car are top-of-the class in a similar manner to which the manufacturer has been able to undercut the offerings from its chief rivals in the price-positioning of the new car. The manufacturer has put many hours into improving operating costs on its other models and new figures from CAP Monitor Future Residual Values and Emmox put the XJ series in a class-leading position.

'We've worked hard to get included among the brands which are actively considered by executives. We now have a pretty good idea about the major players and the market issues, and though it may be early days for the S-type, all the indications are that contract hire companies do now see our product as more accessible,' said Scheele.

Jaguar's three-model S-type line-up is expected to achieve more than 80,000 sales worldwide next year and about 90,000 sales in 2000. It will go in showrooms in America soon after its launch in Britain and Europe and will be available across more than 60 markets by July. The S-type goes head-to-head with the BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-class with the entry-level 3.0-litre V6 costing £28,300 on-the-road, the 3.0-litre V6 SE costing £33,150 and the range-topping 4.0-litre V8 £37,600. Figures from Emmox give the S-type a 56% residual value at three years/60,000 miles.

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