Under Indian Ownership, Jaguar Claws Back
Prepare yourself for a litter-ful of cat cliches, because this blog is about to go feral!
In 2008, Jaguar had the meow of a newborn kitten. It was hard to watch, as I’d been a Jag fan for years, lusting after the sweet curves of the E-Type, snapping my head at any sighting of an XK and then, finally, buying a new 2004 X-Type. That X-Type, though, is one reason things were going downhill. The car was a sales disaster. Things looked bad for Jaguar. So bad, in fact, the once-regal British motor company was purchased by an unknown company in, of all places, India.
Many wrote Jaguar off.
I wondered if Tata Motors, the Indian firm with the funny name, could save the embattled Brits. As soon as the new Jaguar XF showed its ferocious face, I knew my beloved Jag would not only be okay, but once again roar back toward the top of the luxury game. The redesigned XJ and XK further proved my gut feelings.
Today, Jaguar is primed to become a player in luxury sales charts. And more new cars, and good news, are on the way.
As if wanting an XKR-S wasn’t enough, now I can add a C-X16 concept to the list. The C-X16 is powered by an experimental hybrid powertrain that combines a new all-alloy 3.0-liter V6 supercharged engine with a performance-boosting electric motor inspired by Formula One’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). Jaguar’s head designer, Ian Callum, said,
Great Jaguar cars have always been beautiful, innovative and have looked firmly to the future. The finished C-X16 concept has the potential to do these things while retaining the ability to surprise, excite and invigorate.
It’s not destined for the States, but the new wagon seems to do everything right, starting with the engine choices. The car will be powered by either a 187-hp turbodiesel 2.2-liter inline-four, or a 271-hp turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6. Give me this stately family ride any day over the Cadillac CTS Wagon!
“It’s Alive” campaign
The Jaguar brand has a history of being synonymous with seductive. A new ad campaign will once again position the brand as an extension of its driver, an alive piece of machinery ready to seduce our senses. There’s a new, modernized logo too!
All the marketing talk and concept cars in the world don’t mean squat if people aren’t buying. Luckily for Tata, people are, indeed, buying. Jaguar sales in February this year were 62 percent higher than in February 2011. While its 1,022 sales last month were nowhere near BMW’s 21,204, the brand is at least moving in the right direction. With more new models and an invigorated ad campaign, I expect this cat to claw and roar its way back into the laps of American luxury.
You have up to $70,000 to buy a luxury performance car. Jaguar, BMW or Cadillac?