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Jaguar: the Big Cat, Already Losing Its Roar?

With 43 percent decline in the Jaguar sales last July, it was Ford's biggest brand decline. Following last year's 30 percent slope, it is obvious that Jaguar, Ford's luxury brand, hasn't kept up with the times and has already fallen.

When it comes to style, Jaguar is somewhat left behind. One research found that Jaguar has older buyers than the common luxury car consumer. According to George Magliano, director of automotive industry research at Global Insight, Jaguar is now suffering from an aging audience.

"I don't think people under 60 are aware of the luster of the Jaguar brand name," says Magliano.

"This is a difficult market, and people don't necessarily see the Jaguar brand as a luxury sports car any more. And over the last decade the product just hasn't been there to grab the American consumer." he added.

Jaguar's E-type was the icon of the 1960s. The brand was once known to be one of the best in automotive manufacturing. They have engineered vehicles with superior performance, sophisticated design and powerful performance.

What happened?

When Ford bought the brand in 1989, with the hopes of challenging BMW cars (with its BMW antenna), until now, Jaguar hasn't turned a profit for the company. With American buyers already losing their interest in the luxury brand, series of wrong company decisions and with strong competitors around, Ford's hopes never came into reality.

With the completed sale of the Aston Martin brand last March, Jaguar and the rest of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, Land Rover and Volvo, are reportedly for disposing as well. Buyers are in line for these brands including India's Tata Motors and other British and American private equity groups.

"If Ford is selling Jaguar it's because they know they won't be able to put money into the brand to keep it relevant and updated, and that's probably because Ford really needs to focus on its core product line right now," says Jonathan Linkov, Consumer Reports' managing editor for autos.

"Car consumers are fickle, so you really have to stand out with your design these days, and so I think correct way to look at Jaguar is as an example of a brand that has been ignored and not given the funding and support it needed because Ford has had other problems to deal with," he added.

"When you're relying on sales of big SUVs and pickups for your big profits the smaller brands are going to get lost in the shuffle."

Still Ford has hope for Jaguar revival, the 2009 Jaguar XF will be launched this September, with Ford. Let's hope that this is not one of those erroneous decisions they have made for the big cat.

About The Author Evander Klum is a Business Administration graduate who hails from Alabama. He enjoys extreme sports and he is also a car racing fanatic. At present, he works as a marketing manager at an advertising agency in Cleveland.
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