Car / Big disappointments. X-Type: The Decline of the Jaguar


View of the X 400 project, which will be the X-Type. A smarter design than the neo-retro styling of the S-Type. Image of a jaguar

When Ford bought the company in 1989, the Coventry firm was selling around 30,000 cars a year. Less than 10 years later, Jaguar released the S-Type, bringing the large XJ sedan up to date.

Jaguar management chose to expand its range downwards and tickle the holy grail BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E Class and Audi A6. The X 200 project sported neo-retro lines that were completely Jaguar in spirit to revive the spirit of the MkII.

The business goal is to increase Jaguar sales from 30,000 to 100,000. The Lincoln-based S-Type attracts the public. But this is not enough!

Project X 400, smaller and more greedy

Appetite comes to Jaguar, which decided to expand even further down. The goal is to increase the number of cars from 100,000 to 200,000 per year. The target area is BMW 3 series, Mercedes C class and other Audi A4 models.

To enter this highly competitive premium market, Jaguar needs a modern base that can be denied. The X 400 project will use a largely modified platform from the Ford Mondeo 2, which has been widely criticized.

However, the Jaguar is doing well.

With a plush interior with beige leather seats and light carpet in the cargo area, the Estate is tidy.  Queen Elizabeth of England will have a green one.  Image of a jaguar

With a plush interior with beige leather seats and light carpet in the cargo area, the Estate is tidy. Queen Elizabeth of England will have a green one. Image of a jaguar

V6, nothing but V6

During design, the first internal project plans to use the S-Type DEW98 platform, shortened for the needs. It is too expensive to imagine a satisfactory margin in the lower range.

This is Mondeo 2’s CD132. But this is a pull platform. It is upgraded to fit Jaguar-spec front-axle all-wheel drive.

Being noble, Jaguar will offer at least three gasoline V6 engines: 3-liter 231 hp, 2.5-liter 194 hp and 2.1-liter 157 hp; the latter only in traction. For the corps, Wayne Burgess and Geoff Lawson will sign a handsome outfit with elegant and traditional shapes.

He greeted as he left

Everything that can be seen inside comes from Jaguar: we took a lesson from the S-Type with the dashboard of the Lincoln S. When it was released in 2001, the specialist press of the time was full of praise for it. Even if the X-Type is less sporty than the 3 Series, the handling and comfort are praised.

The 3-liter V6 engine is highly rated, but the 2.5-liter is considered a bit tight. Interior plastics are more withdrawn than the Germans, and the rear seats are a bit narrow. Already the “baby Jag” is nicknamed “Jaguar Ford”…

Despite critics, the X-Type shared only 19% of its parts with the Ford Mondeo;  perhaps too much for some purists.  Image of a jaguar

Despite critics, the X-Type shared only 19% of its parts with the Ford Mondeo; perhaps too much for some purists. Image of a jaguar

More economical X-Type

Sales stagnated at 55,600 in 2001, when Jaguar had hoped for 100,000. It’s slightly better than the more expensive Type S. In Europe, diesel is important in the car market and Jaguar understands that attacking the market with only a V6 petrol makes no sense against the German premium.

In 2003, the cat manufacturer will offer diesel in a market where this fuel is very affordable and most of the sales are made to companies.

Jaguar will only sell X-Types powered by 2l and 2.2l diesel engines from 130 to 155 hp in front-wheel drive models. These are the Ford Duratecs from the Mondeo… Autumn continues: only 60,000 copies of the X-Type are sold.

We hit rock bottom

In 2004, Jaguar went all out and unveiled the X-Type Estate, Jaguar’s first estate, designed in part by Ian Callum. The line is very nice, but links the wagon to the luxurious Mondeo.

Sales continued to decline, with 42,975 in 2005 and less than 30,000 in 2006. In 2008, the X-Type was slightly changed, but sales continued to decline: 15,950 in 2008 and 8,050 in 2009, the last year of marketing. In total, the X-Type will have 362,775 sales, which is the most important number for Jaguar.

After Tata took over the brand a few years later, an analyst firm (Bernstein Research) estimated that Jaguar would lose more than €4,600 per car sold, or around €1.7 billion in total.

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