Jaguar is beginning to improve its financial performance after years in the red, the company's top UK executive said yesterday.
"Our profits and revenues are both up this year, which is very encouraging," Geoff Cousins, UK managing director, said.
Speaking exclusively to The Birmingham Post at the British International Motor Show in London, Mr Cousins said Jaguar's revised business model was beginning to show positive financial results.
Attempts by the company to boost sales by breaking into the volume car market with the launch of the X-Type, which is built at Halewood on Merseyside, failed.
Sales of X-Type have disappointed Jaguar, and the car has been criticised following its launch in 2000.
Now, Jaguar, which is struggling to pull out of a prolonged sales slump, is focusing its efforts on selling more profitable, high-margin cars.
Mr Cousins said the strategy was succeeding because customers are happy to pay over the list price for cars equipped with optional extras.
"If you take the XK, customers on average spend an extra £6,000 on options, and that £6,000 is pure profit for us and for our dealers."
Asked about persistent rumours that Ford wants to ditch Jaguar, Mr Cousins said: "I hear those stories too, but I just get on with my job.
"Ford has been very patient with Jaguar and we all want to make the company successful.
"Ford has just signed off the investment in a replacement for the S-Type and I don't think they would do that if they were looking to sell the business."
Mr Cousins said that no decision had been made on whether Jaguar will continue with a four-model line-up once X-Type runs out.
But he said the possibility was that the company would want to stay in the higher volume segment of the market.
"X-Type is in a big sector and the car is doing well in Europe.
"I think it is a lot better car than the critics have claimed, and we have a lot of very satisfied customers."
Mr Cousins has said sales of the XK sports car, built at the Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham, have increased by 50 per cent since the new v ersion of the car was launched in March.
Jaguar has already received some 800 advance orders for the new high performance version of the car, the XKR, which was officially unveiled at the Motor Show yesterday.
XKR prices start from £67,495.
Sales of the XJ saloon which is also built at Castle Bromwich, are currently running at between 30 per cent and 40 per cent up on last year.
Jaguar was also showing off a new XJ Long Wheelbase Diesel and another flagship model, the XJR Portfolio.
The XJR Portfolio is priced at £62,040.
The XJ LWB Diesel will cost from £46,770 for the Executive derivative and £52,770 for the Sovereign.
Jaguar said the XJ range was being strengthened with a host of updates and additional features for the new 2007 model year placing emphasis on the 'sporting' credentials of the cars.