Jaguar XEJaguar Land Rover MD Jeremy Hicks says the Jaguar XE will be the key to unlocking the firm’s consistently impressive customer awareness and turning brand appeal into sales.

The firm, he explained, carries out bi-annual market research. For years, this has shown high levels of unprompted awareness and sector-leading brand appeal for Jaguar – but the final step in the sales funnel, turning this into sales consideration, has long lagged.

When asked why, potential customers’ response is simple – you don’t have a car for me.

“Now, we do,” said Hicks, speaking at the Paris Motor Show 2014. “We can finally go to these people and hopefully convert those strong metrics early into the sales process to new car sales.”

XE ‘will transform us’

The XE is going to be a defining car for Jaguar, he explained. “It is going to transform the company – I can’t stress this enough. It looks great, will drive brilliantly and is competitive on costs too. To stand a chance against the German competition, you have got to be strong here.”

Indeed, he added, although prices initially seem to be a bit higher than BMW and Mercedes-Benz, that’s because those cars are not yet Euro 6 emissions compliant. “Compare EU6 cars like-for-like and we meet them head-on.”

Besides, people in this sector are ready for a change. “Some have had three or four models from the same German brand in succession – they are ready to try something new. This is the right product, backed by a strong brand – I’m confident it will succeed.”