Jaguar Cars

Jaguar predicts sales to brake as latest model hits the road running

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 October, 1998, 12:00am

Luxury car manufacturer Jaguar estimates sales in Hong Kong will fall by at least 100 units this year compared with last year's 240, the company said yesterday as it unveiled its S-type sports saloon.

Despite the fall, the British company had already received orders for six of the $600,000 S-types at a private unveiling in Hong Kong last week.

The car was launched a week ago at the Birmingham International Motor Show in England, and Hong Kong was its first Asian destination.

Jaguar Hong Kong managing director William Lau Kwok-ming said the car had been well received and predicted sales would soon increase.

'There are still people in Hong Kong with disposable income,' Mr Lau said.

'In the short term, I do not expect major numbers [of sales], but given six to nine months, when the market rebounds, I expect figures to increase.' Director of overseas operations Ian Major said the company had recently increased marketing spending in Asia.

'We want to make sure the name Jaguar is on everyone's lips come the turnaround,' he said.

Jaguar forecast S-type worldwide sales of 40,000 next year, rising to more than 55,000 cars in 2000.

The largest markets for the S-type will be Europe and the United States, each taking about 40 per cent of world sales.

Britain represents 20 per cent, Germany 8 per cent and Japan 5 per cent of sales.

The car was designed and developed at the company's British production facility and delivery to Hong Kong should begin early next year.