January was yet another excellent month in the UK for Jaguar, its sales rise of 20 per cent outpacing the market’s 11 per per cent gain. Much of the additional volume is coming from the F-PACE, yet the brand’s two youngest saloons are also doing well. The larger of those, the XF, has had some updates for model year 2017 and an estate will be added for MY2018.
Even the Germans are buying Jaguars
Worldwide, it was a record January for Jaguar, retail sales reaching 13,949 vehicles, up 76 per cent, compared to January 2016. The company notes not only the obvious factor of the F-PACE, which is now its best seller, but also strong demand for the XF and especially its long-wheelbase XFL derivative which is made only in China.
You don’t often hear about English brand cars being popular in Germany. Things are changing, especially with the XF having beaten the Mercedes-Benz E-Class to win its size segment in the annual Golden Steering Wheel awards. The accolade was a big shot in the arm for this E-premium model and sales now reflect that. Jaguar registrations soared by 75 per cent in 2016 to 8,713 cars, from 4,987 in 2015. Jaguar might have had a terrific 2016 but it remains a small brand, moving from 30th place in the sales charts to 28th, slipping past Subaru and DS. It was still a long way behind Jeep (27th, 14,782) and Land Rover (26th, 22,799).
Wagons for the D and E segments with which it could face the C-Class Estate and E-Class Estate, plus a five-door C segment hatchback to chip away at the Audi A3 Sportback with, could pull this brand into the mainstream in Europe’s number one market. More on that shortly.
China: first, catch Infiniti
Sales in China as listed by CAAM are for locally made models only, so Jaguar is a recent addition for the Association’s data crunchers. The market rose by 14 per cent to 28.03 million vehicles, but you have to look a long way down the charts to find Jaguar. It’s in 69th position, with 5,644 vehicles delivered. All of these were the XFL which went into production at the Chery-JLR factory in the city of Changshu during August. So a good result for a brand which has had only minimal visibility in this giant, crowded market.
The good news for Jaguar China is that XFL sales have increased month-on-month, with the total for December being 1,618. This placed the brand in position 66, ahead of DS, which makes multiple vehicles in the country, none of which is successful. Numbers by model for January have yet to be released.
Some perspective on how far Jaguar has to climb can be seen if we look at other premium brands’ locally made models’ totals for December:
Infiniti: 2,972 cars & SUVs
Volvo: 7,783 cars and SUVs
BMW: 26,437 sedans, minivans & SUVs
Audi: 27,063 sedans & SUVs
Mercedes-Benz: 34,582 sedans & SUVs