Luxury car-maker Jaguar has taken advance orders worth about £100m for its new X-type model, which goes on sale later this month.

Seen as the most important car in the company's history, the X-type is the first model to be produced at the former Ford plant at Halewood on Merseyside.

On sale on May 23, the X-type is Jaguar's first entry into the luxury junior executive car market.

Prices for the new car start at about £22,000, and Jaguar hopes it will appeal particularly to women and to those who have previously ruled out Jaguars on cost grounds.