Jaguar remains a marquee brand among Filipino luxury car enthusiasts



By Alexander Villafania

SUBIC, ZAMBALES – When the first Jaguar rolled off the assembly line in 1935, expectations became high among the British that a car would symbolize British elegance and style.

Fast forward 75 years later, Jaguar is  among the most dominant European automotive brands that have carried its classic image to modern times.

Some of the newer models that Jaguar carries in the Philippines are the executive XJ series, the XK sports coupe, and the top-of-the-line XF luxury saloon.

Just as the company is celebrating its 75th year worldwide, Jaguar Philippines is celebrating its 14th year in the business.

Marc Soong, Jaguar Philippines executive director, said Jaguar remains to be among the most renowned marquees in the niche luxury market in the Philippines. Despite the economic challenges during the past three years, Jaguar has survived and continues to thrive.

“There is a higher level of appreciation for the Jaguar brand in the Philippines simply because it exudes all expectations in a luxury car. We continue to be strong and even with competition from other luxury brands,” Soong said.

Soong said having a sought-after brand has its advantages and in an effort to build up its reputation for having the best-of-breed automotive company, Jaguar Philippines held a one-of-a kind “torture” activity.

For one day, Jaguar Philippines brought a select group of Filipino journalists to put their cars, including a turbo charged version of the XF, were put under to some tests grueling tests.

The tests were conducted at the Subic Bay International Airport, its entire tarmac closed down. Among the tests involved slalom to try out the cars’ maneuverability; a wet road test for breaking ability in inclement weather; and everyone’s favorite, a speed test that had the XK and XF go 260 kilometers per hour— the fastest most of the test drivers could ever go on the road.

The airport runway, which is long enough to land a Boeing 747, feels too short as the Jaguars, particularly the XK was able to run through the entire stretch in less than 7 seconds.

“We’ve done a lot of road tests before but this is a rare treat because guests are able to put these cars in conditions that they wouldn’t expect them to go through. We want to give them the sense of driving a Jaguar and putting it under some stress,” Soong said.

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