JAGUAR'S MOUNTING SUPPLY OF USED CARS MAY GET BIGGER PUSH: AD SUPPORT FOR SELECT EDITION GAINS IMPORTANCE AS LEASES EXPIRE

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Like it or not, Jaguar Cars of North America has become a player in the used car business.

Leases on some 18,000 Jaguars will expire this year, equal to the number of new cars Jaguar sold in the U.S. last year. About half those coming off lease will end up in the carmaker's used car program, said George Frame, VP-finance and administration, who oversees the so-called Select Edition program.

Last year, Jaguar spent about $3.3 million advertising used cars, according to Competitive Media Reporting. And it's likely to boost that due to the increased number of available used cars. Jaguar spent a total of $30 million in measured media last year.

SWITCH IN MEDIA

This year's used car advertising continues the theme "They come from good homes," from Ogilvy & Mather, New York. Last year, the media buy was primarily magazines; this year newspapers and radio are being used.

The carmaker introduced Select Edition a year ago as the first big wave of its 1993 Dream Leases program started terminating.

Last year, some 5,000 used Jaguars were sold or leased under Select Edition, and the availability of used Jaguars won't abate any time soon. Mr. Frame projected that about 80% of Jaguar's 1996 U.S. new car sales will be leases-the same as last year.

Although the profiles of Jaguar's new and used car buyers differ, research shows both groups want to be treated the same, Mr. Frame said.

"Everyone who buys one buys it for the same reason," he said. "When somebody sees a Jaguar they don't see a new car or a used car-they see a Jaguar."

THE RIGHT MOVES

Automotive marketing consultant Jay Houghton said Jaguar is making the right moves to shift its used cars back into the system. But Mr. Houghton, director of business development for Automotive Marketing Consultants, said Jaguar's low U.S. sales make it almost invisible to younger consumers who could become future buyers.

Mr. Frame said Jaguar's media buys handle the task of reaching younger would-be buyers.

This fall, Jaguar will introduce the XK8 sports car-the first new vehicle since Ford Motor Co. bought the British automaker in 1989, and its first new sports car in 21 years.

The company projects that some 60% of the planned 12,000 XK8s produced will be sold in the U.S.

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