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Jaguar confronts poor quality rap with new cars, long warranties

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Jaguar confronts poor quality rap with new cars, long warranties

 
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:09 PM
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Default Jaguar confronts poor quality rap with new cars, long warranties

From today's Los Angeles Times:

Jaguar confronts poor quality rap with new cars, long warranties - LA Times

By CHARLES FLEMING

It’s not often auto executives speak frankly about their brand’s history of making “bad cars.”

But the chiefs at Jaguar — now under new management — know they have a dubious legacy to overcome. The historically British brand, now owned by Indian giant Tata, had become known for building beautiful machines that never quite ran right, with high maintenance costs and low resale value.

Now the brand is addressing that problem head on, with price cuts, perks and long-term warranties.

“The times of bad cars are over,” said Joe Eberhardt, president and CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America. “This is the next generation of Jaguar. But we need customer confidence to get there.”

Eberhardt, in interviews during last month’s Monterey Car Week, acknowledged that the Jaguar side of the brand has suffered from lingering consumer doubts.

“We have been perceived as a low-volume, high-priced brand,” the executive said. “Jaguar has the reputation that we build unreliable cars that are expensive to maintain.”

To combat that, Jaguar on Thursday announced an aggressive campaign to persuade prospective buyers to give Jaguar another look.

The company has turned expensive options into standard equipment on many models, lowered prices on many vehicles and added extended warranties, while also introducing two new entry-level vehicles that it hopes will expand its reach to younger, more mainstream consumers.

A 2015 Jaguar XF, for example, will start at $52,895 — 9% lower than the comparable 2015 model. A 2016 Jaguar XJ will start at $75,395, about the same as a 2015, but will include as standard a set of options that the company values at $7,000.

All vehicles in the 2016 model year lineup will include five-year and 60,000-mile limited warranties, and free scheduled maintenance for the same period.

The company will also shortly unveil the 2017 XE, which at a starting MSRP of $35,895 will significantly lower the entry point for the brand, and the 2017 F-Pace, a crossover utility vehicle that will expand Jaguar’s reach into a segment it has never occupied.

Jaguar Land Rover — at one time two independent brands but later united and owned by BMW and by Ford — was acquired by the Indian automotive giant Tata in 2008. The parent company has invested about $30 billion into the brand, Eberhardt said, over the last five years.

The company reported earlier this week that Jaguar sales for August were down 3% from August 2014, though sales of the F-type were up 15% for the same period. Jaguar's 2015 year-to-date sales are off 4% from 2014, the company said.

Sales at sister company Land Rover were better, up 12% for the month over August 2014, for its best year ever. Year-to-date sales are up 20%, the company said.

Eberhardt believes the F-Pace and XE will sharply expand the brand’s visibility, especially among younger buyers, and markedly increase sales – a point echoed by marketing Vice President Kim McCullough.

“Starting this year we will be reaching a far larger target audience that includes a significant number of affluent millennial customers,” McCullough said. “This opens up a new segment to us, with vehicles that will make the brand more accessible.”

The challange, said Kelley Blue Book analyst Akshay Anand, will be overcoming the brand’s reputation as a troubled prestige nameplate.

“The brand has had issues” with the perception that the cars are unreliable and unattainable, Anand said.

“But the cars have gotten better, and the XE and F-Pace are the cars that will get new people in the door,” he said. “Those are the vehicles that will dictate Jaguar’s near-term success.”

Those cars may be key to Jaguar’s long-term success too, said Edmunds.com analyst Jeremy Acevedo.

“Part of Jaguar’s problem is they build cars we covet — but not cars we can buy,” Acevedo said. “They have the sizzle. With the XE and F-Pace, they have the steak to go along with it.”

The warranties will help reassure some buyers, but the company will still have to establish a track record of building high-quality cars, said Consumer Reports director of testing Jake Fisher. The warranties will also help hold company engineers accountable, he said.

“Their sales have been low, so it’s difficult to determine whether they really have turned the corner on reliability,” Fisher said. “The warranty is good policy, from a consumer standpoint but also from an internal standpoint. They will need to engineer in the reliability for their own financial reasons.”

For the XE to succeed, Anand said, it will have to be an attractive vehicle and offer compelling options to compete with the already successful Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 automobiles that share the segment.

Eberhardt knows Jaguar can’t simply come to market with a mediocre machine.

“There are so many great car choices today,” he said. “Just having the best-looking car is not enough. Good pricing is not enough.”

The long-term warranty, he said, is his company’s best effort to reassure people they are not taking a gamble. “Because of issues in the past, people don’t think of us as a reliable choice,” he said. “That’s where we face the biggest hurdle.”
 
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2015, 03:53 PM
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I listen to poor quality rap in my XJ all the time, it sounds fantastic.
 
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by XJLFTW View Post
I listen to poor quality rap in my XJ all the time, it sounds fantastic.
Isn't that called 'crap'?
 
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:30 AM
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Or to put it another way:
Our sales in China are lower now China's in trouble so we'd like to sell more in other places (like USA).

The actual "news" article seems warmed-over from 20 years ago, though.
 
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:19 AM
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People have very long memories though. It might take another generation or two of potential owners for the dark days to be forgotten.
 
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:53 PM
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I can't help but think that the tardy Jaguar response to the XJ roof popping problem did their reputation no good at all. OK this issue seems to have been finally 'put-to-bed' but the car was on sale from 2009 on. That is a long time to sort things out.
 
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:57 PM
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I wouldn't argue, though it's tough to find a make which has not had some terrible event badly handled (be it ignition lock problems, uncontrolled acceleration, endless electrical gremlins or whatever). Cars can be painful to buy new (or old).....
 
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:48 PM
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All I know is that when I recently went to my Jaguar dealer to have my 2011 5.0L V-8 Jaguar XJL serviced, all the new 2015 XJ cars they had on display had 3.0L V-6 engines.

Why would I, or anyone else want to trade "down"?
 
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Old 09-05-2015, 01:09 AM
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No idea, but I expect that dealer isn't owned by Jaguar and they have chosen to display whatever they like in their own shop. Or they've sold all the bigger engined cars and are waiting for more. Did you not ask why they only had those on display?
 
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by johndahlheimer View Post
All I know is that when I recently went to my Jaguar dealer to have my 2011 5.0L V-8 Jaguar XJL serviced, all the new 2015 XJ cars they had on display had 3.0L V-6 engines.

Why would I, or anyone else want to trade "down"?
I think you'll find that on models with choice of engine, the 6 outsells the 8 by a large margin.

Just like it does on every brand of car.
 
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Old 09-05-2015, 01:25 PM
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should have just build a better quality cars to begin with, IMO. Jaguar build beautiful cars, I really wish the have the quality of BMW or Mercedes....but I guess you can't have everything, lol.
 
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
I think you'll find that on models with choice of engine, the 6 outsells the 8 by a large margin.

Just like it does on every brand of car.
Reminds me of the fact prior to 1955, Chevrolet, with only an overhead valve inline six cylinder engine and two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission out-sold Ford with their flat-head or overhead valve V-8 engines with three speed Fordomatic automatic transmissions; they also out-sold Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles with their modern overhead valve, high compression V-8 engines introduced in 1949 and four speed Hydramatic automatics introduced in 1940.

As in travel by ship or airplane, most people don't travel first class.
 

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Old 09-05-2015, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JagV8 View Post
No idea, but I expect that dealer isn't owned by Jaguar and they have chosen to display whatever they like in their own shop. Or they've sold all the bigger engined cars and are waiting for more. Did you not ask why they only had those on display?
No, I did not. And perhaps you are correct that all the V-8 engine cars were sold out, and they only had left-over V-6 models which few were interested in buying.
 
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:33 PM
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My take: Eberhardt is a first class idiot, already making excuses for his lake of knowledge, capability and confidence to make the grade in promoting Jaguar in North America.

Anyone who engages in such negative talk about the brand he is supposed to be promoting is obviously incompetent, and the sooner they can get rid of this LOSER, the better.

FIRE this clown, immediately if not sooner!
 
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:19 AM
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I have disagree with you on this one. The first question people ask about our Jag "is it reliable?" Yes it is, but if that is the first question, the reputation has been tarnished. What Jaguar should have done is increased the warranty to 6 years 100k miles and added $2500.00 to the list price to cover. Look at Kia motors. They were unknown in the USA and no one was willing to buy them. No one wanted to be the guinea pig. Their marketing was brilliant, 10 year /100k mile warranty. Their sales have increased ever since. I see them everywhere now.
 
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Hellkitten-510 View Post
should have just build a better quality cars to begin with, IMO. Jaguar build beautiful cars, I really wish the have the quality of BMW or Mercedes....but I guess you can't have everything, lol.
Hindsight about the distant past is a wonderful thing. Modern Jags (15 years old or newer) have proven themselves to be just as reliable or better than their Merc or BMW competitors.

Your post confirms the idea that people hang on to old memories for far too long and is the exact reason that Jag issued the statements above.
 
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:28 AM
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Proves the statement that if you repeat something often enough, even if it is not true, people will believe it.
 
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyesterpig View Post
I have disagree with you on this one. The first question people ask about our Jag "is it reliable?" Yes it is, but if that is the first question, the reputation has been tarnished. What Jaguar should have done is increased the warranty to 6 years 100k miles and added $2500.00 to the list price to cover. Look at Kia motors. They were unknown in the USA and no one was willing to buy them. No one wanted to be the guinea pig. Their marketing was brilliant, 10 year /100k mile warranty. Their sales have increased ever since. I see them everywhere now.
I have to agree with you. My take on any CEO however, is what they do to turn things around. Excuse making in advance is no substitute for taking positive actions! Talking about perceptions from fifteen years ago does no good.

Like you suggest, increase the warranty to 6 years and 100k miles, or better yet, 10 years and 100k miles. Also fix the water pump so it lasts that long, rather than only ~40,000 miles (I know how to do that).

Also have Garmin provide their GPS expertise to Jaguars sad sack infotainment center.

Also equip their cars with all weather OEM tires that provide superior wet, snow, and cold weather traction, and a quieter, smoother ride, i.e the Continental Extreme Contact DWS.

Also equip their cars with batteries and battery management systems that can handle the demands of the car's electronics.

Also keep up with all the trendy crap like LED Christmas Tree lighting on the front of the vehicle.

Advertise the fact that Jaguar has had very high scores on quality in recent years, while German cars have had very low scores.

Talk up the fact that Jaguar's body, engine and dynamic handling technologies are far superior to their European competitiors.

In other words, take positive constructive actions rather than reinforcing negative and outmoded reputations. Be a leader, not an excuse maker.
 

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Old 09-06-2015, 07:58 PM
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Jaguar's new ads almost entirely focus on the sex appeal instead of practical aspects of car ownership such as reliability, high JD Power scores, and long warranties. It's completely useless. People ALREADY know Jaguar makes sex machines they just need to be educated on the new cars' reliability.


Cheers,
Wolfy
 
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Fraser Mitchell View Post
I can't help but think that the tardy Jaguar response to the XJ roof popping problem did their reputation no good at all. OK this issue seems to have been finally 'put-to-bed' but the car was on sale from 2009 on. That is a long time to sort things out.
Not exactly.

I bought a 2014 XJ Portfolio and my sun roof "pops".

When I took it in ( last week ) to Jaguar Portugal, the service manager said "really ? a 2014 ? thats odd".

Thankfully, there are warranties and its getting an entire new sunroof - will have it in the next couple of days.
 

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