LONDON - Asked if he is satisfied with the product plans for the X400 baby Jaguar, Wolfgang Reitzle does not answer directly.
Instead, the group vice president of Premier Automotive Group, Ford's new luxury-car division, gives a glimpse of a perfectionist's mind at work.
'I think you always have to establish when is the latest date you can make changes and optimize a product,' says the former BMW product development chief.
'I'm looking at the cars again and again and again. Sometimes I look seven times in a row at a certain product, and when I come back the eighth time, I see something I didn't see before.'
Will the X400 stay on schedule? 'From what I see today, the product can stay on course,' he says.
His larger concerns with Jaguar are the dramatic growth plans he inherited. Sales are expected to quadruple to 200,000 cars a year by 2003. But he does not want to see quality gains sacrificed in the pursuit of volume.
'It's a good idea, it can be done, but nobody ever did it before,' Reitzle says. 'Keeping Jaguar's position as a top-quality brand, quadrupling sales and maintaining the high standard of service ... it's a challenge, yes.'