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Jaguar considers a sedan to rival the 3-series

Mon, 31 Jan 2011

Jaguar may develop a small sedan to compete with BMW's 3 series--something it tried a decade ago with little success.

Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar's new global brand director, says Jaguar is considering a small sports car that could also be offered as a sedan.

"We need different models. We need lower priced models," said Hallmark, former head of Volkswagen brand in the United States.

He said he envisions a small sedan below the XF that could compete against the 3 series or the Audi A4/A5.

"We need to play in that world," Hallmark said. Jaguar needs a small sports car for image and a sedan for volume, he said.

"We have to do both. Whether we do one, two or three body styles, we can still decide. But we have to be in the lower price."

As for timing, he said: "We are at the beginning of that process, four-plus years before we see the first launch."

Jaguar's previous attempt at a small sedan, the Ford Mondeo-based X-Type that debuted in Europe 10 years ago, was a sales disappointment. Production for the United States ended in 2007.

Hallmark said Jaguar won't make that mistake again.

"We don't want to be fighting it out in the fleet business with little engines and small wheels and discounted 25 percent," he said.

"If we go into the smaller car market," he said, "we want to build elegant cars with great technology that give a sense of occasion and position us above that competition--where Jaguar should be."

By Diana T. Kurylko- Automotive News Europe