The 2000 model went on sale a little over a year ago. By the end of November, it became the niche brand's best-seller; S-type accounted for 8,633 of the total 14,650 units Jaguar sold in the first four months of 2000.
"The S-type has doubled the size of the company" in terms of unit sales, says Al Saltiel, general marketing manager at Jaguar. He projects S-type will tally more than half the brand's expected 40,000 U.S. unit sales in 2000. Jaguar sold fewer than 9,000 cars in the U.S. in 1992.
Mr. Saltiel, 36, credits S-type's success to an integrated campaign with lots of prelaunch activity.
"We had to tell people this was a new product," he says of the third car in Jaguar's stable. By January 1999, the first of several direct mailings were sent out. Mail and online respondents got a video and brochure.
Jaguar kicked off S-type previews at museums in 20 markets. Mr. Saltiel says the museums attracted younger prospects than Jaguar's typical owner in their 50s.
The car's ad blitz arrived with several firsts for the niche car marketer: Jaguar's first network TV buy, first global ad campaign and first joint effort of WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and J. Walter Thompson Co. The music in the sole global spot combined hipster band Propellerheads with Welsh singer Shirley Bassey.
Mr. Saltiel says traditional ads and media for the car also played a role in its success. S-type, the brand's least expensive model at $43,095, got the marketer's biggest ad blitz ever.
S-type drew $31 million of the brand's $53 million in measured media spending last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The marketer expected 60% of buyers to be Jaguar first-timers, but so far it's 90%.
"That's one of the things that's blowing us away," he says. "S-type is helping us move the brand forward and attract a new set of buyers."