Jaguar Cars in Europe further strengthened during 2004, helping to achieve best ever results for the UK and European markets overall, driven by expansion of the product line-up to include new Jaguar Diesels and the X-TYPE Estate.

Overall sales in the UK for 2004 reached record levels totalling 32,598 cars, an 11.2 per cent improvement over last year, and 9.4 per cent up on the previous record in 2002. European sales of 24,337 cars helped achieve best ever results with a 24.6 per cent improvement over 2003. Global sales in 2004 totalled 118,918 (compared with 120,570 in 2003).

The company's overall performance was, however, slowed by tough trading conditions in the key US market, where a 16.4% downturn was seen, year-on-year. A significant shift by US customers away from premium saloon cars to premium SUVs, high incentive activity in the US premium car sector and the strength of sterling versus the dollar all contributed to this trend.

Jaguar nonetheless enjoyed success in the US, with the launch of its eagerly anticipated XJ LWB and recently the X-TYPE Estate. The introduction of the long-wheelbase version of the XJ contributed to a 4.5% rise in its share of this key market.

Jaguar's North American operation is also riding high on recent successes in vehicle quality and customer service, ranking first in J.D. Power and Associates’ 2004 SSI (Sales Satisfaction Index), whilst Jaguar finished third overall - the highest-placed European nameplate - in J. D. Power's 2004 initial quality study. Jaguar was also awarded 'Best Luxury' car programme for its certified pre-owned scheme. Success on the racetrack also continues with Jaguar winning its second consecutive Trans-am series manufacturers’ championship and the company’s fourth win in the series overall.

Bibiana Boerio, Managing Director of Jaguar, said: "2004 was a very tough year for Jaguar; we didn't achieve the sales we wanted, but we made progress in all our markets. We strengthened our position in the UK and Europe with the expansion of our Diesel line-up and we have refocused our efforts in the US and Japan."

Published : 16/01/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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