JAGUAR HAS ANNOUNCED that its entry level offering, the X-type, will wrap up production before the end of 2009. The last of Jaguar?s ?old-guard? offerings, the Mondeo-based X-type was originally intended to live on until at least mid-2010.
The decision to drop the X-type comes amid sweeping cost-cutting measures at Jaguar Land Rover to help shore the company up against the 28 percent drop in sales it has posted over the past ten months.
As a result of the loss of the X-type from Jaguar?s Halewood production lines, a plant which also builds the Land Rover Freelander, the JLR will be offering 300 voluntary redundancies. The plant is also expected to shut down for three weeks as a result of slow sales.
Jaguar has sold 350,000 X-types worldwide sine the model went on sale in 2001. Although the added volume was desperately required by Jaguar, the car never met lofty sales expectations.
Blighted by its humble underpinnings, the front and all-wheel-drive X-type has always been the odd one out in the Jaguar stable.
Jaguar Land Rover CEO, David Smith, discussed the X-type's discontinuation, as well as the latest financial hurdles facing JLR with Autocar.
?Our industry has been especially badly hit by the recession, and the premium sector more than others," Mr Smith said.
?We have taken unprecedented actions to cut costs, including reduced production volumes, significant cuts to investment plans and some 2200 job losses.
"Ceasing production of the X-Type early, with further redundancies and temporary shutdowns at Halewood, is necessary to protect our other investment plans.?
Mr Smith also hinted that there may yet be more cost cutting to come from Jaguar, despite the success of the new XF and the confident launch of the new XJ flagship.
?Further actions will be determined by the state of the market and the speed with which the already-approved 340 million euro (AU$598 million) European Investment Bank loan can be drawn,? he said.
Currently no plans exist to replace the X-type with another model.