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Old 04-15-2003, 21:03   #1 (permalink)
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Jaguar raises prices on 2 models

By Kathy Jackson
Automotive News / April 15, 2003

NEW YORK - Jaguar has raised the prices on two of its new 2004 XJ models that go on sale June 1.

George Ayres, vice president of marketing for Jaguar North America, says the base model XJ8 is $59,995, up $3,000 from the current model. The Vanden Plas is priced at $68,995, and the XJR will sell for $74,995, compared to $72,995. All prices include destination charges.

"The all new XJ represents exceptional value in both pricing and specification," Ayres says.

To prepare for the sale of the XJ, Jaguar will launch a brand campaign beginning Wednesday, April 16, its first brand campaign since spring 2001. The 60- and 30-second spots will air on broadcast and cable network channels with a new tagline: "Born to perform." The tagline replaces "Art of performance," which has run for three years, Ayres says. Brand ads also will run in national newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Print ads for the XJ campaign will break in May, and TV spots for the new model will start in June.

"This is the first brand campaign in a long time," Ayres says. "Our strategy is to get everyone aware of where we're taking the brand."

Ayres says Jaguar's advertising budget will remain about the same this year as in 2002, which was $79.2 million according to Competitive Media Reporting in New York. He says the company will spend about half of the total budget on the XJ campaign and 20 percent or less on the brand campaign.

The company also will host seven ride-and-drives this year to attract current owners and prospects to the new XJ. The first drive will be Friday, April 25, in Atlanta. He says 2,500 to 3,000 people will be invited to each event, which will take place at racetracks. Guests will have an opportunity to see races involving vintage Jaguars and then be able to drive Jaguar vehicles on the tracks.

Ayres projects sales of about 6,000 XJ models this year and from 10,000 to 13,000 for a full calendar year. He expects half the buyers to be current owners and half to be conquests.

He says the median age for an XJ buyer is 55, compared with 52 for all Jaguar buyers. He says 35 percent of XJ owners are women.
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