As gorgeous and capable as the new Jaguar XK, XF and XJ might be, some people in the market for a luxury sedan or GT still have a dated notion of Jaguars as service nightmares. Talk to folks from the Big Three and they'll tell you in no uncertain terms that fighting persistent jokes and decades-old impressions is, well, difficult. Those old impressions can linger in the mind of buyers well beyond their validity, crimping sales and blocking exposure to some very tasty products. One way to counteract that image problem is to design a better product, build it carefully and correctly, start gaining a reputation for reliability and wait for the hordes to push down your dealership doors. Another way to do it is to offer free maintenance to jump-start the process.
Jaguar North America is using the latter approach, launching a free scheduled maintenance program for all of its 2011 models. According to Automotive News, the new five-year/50,000 mile plan will be called Jaguar Platinum Coverage, and will provide free scheduled maintenance, along with 24/7 roadside assistance. Jaguar has tried a similar approach in the past, but this new plan even goes so far as to comp oil changes, filters, brake pads, brake discs, brake fluids, and wiper blade inserts. The old program was last applied to 2006 models while Ford was still calling the shots. Jag's new owners, Tata Motors, are anxious to kick off the new XJ launch with a bang, hoping to show shoppers that this isn't your wealthy uncle's Jaguar. The program will be in effect when the XJ sedan goes on sale in May and will also apply to the 2011 XF sedan and XK coupe when they reach dealerships in June.