Tata Motors Ltd. will build as many as 25,000 Jaguar XJ luxury cars annually starting next quarter in a bid to take customers from Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s 7 Series and Daimler AG’s Mercedes S Class.
The aluminum-body sedan will be built at the company’s Castle Bromwich, England, factory, Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director, said in an interview in Detroit. The least expensive version will start at $72,000 in the U.S., he said, and can cost as much at $115,000 with all available options.
Callum said the U.S. will account for about half the car’s sales. Through October, Jaguar sold 1,082 XJs in the U.S., down from 2,038 during the same period in 2008, according to Autodata Corp., based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. The automaker discontinued production of the previous model in March.
“Unlike the previous XJ, which reflected a more traditional English look, the new vehicle is thoroughly modern and stylish,” Callum said. “Jaguar is about creating cars for their time.”
Ford Motor Co. sold the Jaguar and Land Rover brands to Mumbai, India-based Tata in June, 2008 for $2.4 billion. That was less than half the price Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford paid for the U.K. automakers.
The new Jaguar sedan “has a uniqueness and differentiation going for it,” said Eddie Alterman, editor in chief of Car & Driver magazine. “The Mercedes S Class and BMW 7 series are sold in pretty high volumes and are concentrated in the same ZIP codes.”