JLR top brass are considering making all Jaguars electric-powered within the next decade
12 October 2018

Jaguar Land Rover bosses are considering a plan to turn Jaguar into an EV-only brand within the next decade, Autocar has learned.  

It is understood that company product planners have produced an outline strategy under which Jaguar’s conventional vehicle range would be phased out over the next five to seven years, to be replaced by fully electric vehicles. 

Under the plans being considered, a full-on luxury electric saloon, replacing the unloved XJ, is expected within two years. It will be a direct competitor for Porsche’s upcoming Taycan, alongside strong-selling cars such as the Tesla Model S

Rethought as an electric vehicle, the new XJ will both play to the strengths of the 1967 original by offering segment-leading refinement and ride and look to the future by completely reinventing the classic Jaguar interior. 

It is understood that the new XJ will be a no-holds-barred luxury car in every sense, offering customers a zero-pollution alternative to a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or even a Bentley Flying Spur.

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The thinking is that Jaguar will steal a march on rivals by building a true luxury EV in a segment that is probably the most environmentally minded and offers greater profitability per car than lower segments. EVs also fit in perfectly with the brief of a modern-day chauffeur of private hire driver, with excellent mechanical refinement and the ability to enter low-emission zones in cities without financial penalties.

As the XE and XF reach the end of their lives in 2023, they could be replaced by an all-electric crossover slightly bigger than Audi’s E-tron. An all-new I-Pace would arrive in 2025 as the E-Pace and F-Pace models are phased out. Jaguar would be nearly all-electric by 2026, with only the flagship J-Pace luxury crossover surviving until 2027 or so. And with no replacement for the F-Type in the works for when it dies in the first half of the 2020s, an electric Jaguar sports car is also a possibility.

Early internal estimates suggest that a four or five-model all-electric Jaguar line-up could sell as many as 300,000 units per year, benefiting from much higher retail prices and surfing a trend that is expected to see a sizeable chunk of the luxury vehicle market switching to battery power. Crucially, the move would also provide a big reduction in the average corporate fuel economy of JLR.

Under the scheme, Castle Bromwich could be redeveloped as JLR’s specialist EV factory, making vehicles based on the new all-wheel-drive MLA EV platform. Batteries for the MLA platform are expected to come from the new Coventry Hyperbat factory run by Williams Engineering and Unipart.

The electric vehicle proposal has received added impetus from the extremely strong reception for the new electric I-Pace and Jaguar’s continued involvement in Formula E — the new I-Type 3 Gen 2 single-seater racing car has also just been unveiled — giving the perfect introduction to revolutionising the brand, according to insiders.

Autocar understands that although the outline of a reinvention of Jaguar has reached a fairly advanced stage, the project still does not have the green light. JLR’s dramatic plans come against a background of mediocre sales for Jaguar’s three-model saloon car range, which has forced the company to introduce a three-day week for the rest of 2018 at its Castle Bromwich factory. Executives at Tata, Jaguar’s Indian parent company, are said to be extremely unhappy by the brand’s recent performance, given its extensive investment.

Although Jaguar sales have been hit by both concerns over the future of diesel and some Brexit uncertainties, the latest sales figures for the XE, XF and XJ – all of which are made in Castle Bromwich – show evidence that buyers are shunning Jaguar’s saloons.

The good news for Jaguar is that the E-Pace is now the company’s second-bestselling model, after the F-Pace, although the E-Pace’s August sales were well below those of its elderly Range Rover Evoque sister model.

The dilemma facing JLR senior management is clear. As product plans are laid for the company’s next generation of cars based on the MLA aluminium platform, can investment in three replacement Jaguar saloon models be justified? Indeed, is there any profitable future for conventional Jaguar saloon cars of any kind?

If the XE, XF and XJ models are dropped in their current forms after this generation, what future would there be for a Jaguar brand that amounted to, say, three crossovers? Dealers would probably be unable to thrive with such a small range and sources say that, at that point, the Jaguar brand would be difficult to support as a going concern.

All of these reasons are why the JLR board finds itself closely examining a plan that would result in an all-electric Jaguar line-up.

Another major advantage of an electric-only Jaguar range is that it would greatly help JLR drive down its corporate fuel economy figures. In turn, that would mean the future models from Land Rover’s three ‘brand pillars’ (Range Rover, Discovery and Defender) could prosper with using just 48V hybrid technology.

Sources say that developing viable battery-powered Land Rover models is very difficult without diluting the brand’s values. Difficulties include the need to substantially change the styling to create a small frontal area and the complexity of making EVs safe in situations such as fording rivers.

Many in JLR believe that this radical plan is win-win. It gives Jaguar perhaps its last best chance to grow into a self- supporting brand; it ensures JLR has bespoke entries in the growing global market for luxury EVs; and, if successful, it reduces the company’s CO2 average, lessening the pressure on Land Rover to produce electric models that are not true to the brand. 

Production numbers show Jag’s plight: 

To get a proper scale of Jaguar’s troubles, you have to look at its Castle Bromwich factory’s output between January and August this year.

With the model-by-model build numbers outlined below, the factory’s output totalled 52,476 cars over eight months’ production.

XE and XF sales dropped significantly, down 25% and 17% respectively for the year.

Over the same period, 63,815 examples of the F-Pace and E-Pace were built outside of Castle Bromwich. Total Jaguar sales over the first eight months of 2018 were 116,849, including 588 I-Pace models.

Extrapolating to a full year of sales, Castle Bromwich output would be around 78,700 units and total Jaguar sales about 175,200. For a brand with three mainstream saloons and two mainstream SUVs, that figure is very low.

Even Jaguar’s SUVs are under the weather. Sales of the F-Pace dropped by 23% between January and August this year, although it is not built at Castle Bromwich.

The E-Pace has proven reasonably successful so far, but the profit margins for that car are relatively slim compared with the rest of Jaguar’s range.

The slump in sales has caused Jaguar to change Castle Bromwich to a three-day week production schedule, affecting 3000 staff. It contrasts sharply with Land Rover, which is on track to shift well over 300,000 vehicles in 2018. Sales of models such as the Discovery Sport and Range Rover Sport remain strong, despite their advancing years.

Jaguar XE 20,737 cars built, Jaguar XF 22,395, Jaguar XJ 3884, Jaguar F-Type 5460

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Comments
48

12 October 2018

But there's plenty of life left in petrol engines.

 

Jaguar has to concentrate on their weaknesses.   Infotainment is one area that gets criticism.   No TT / Z4 rival.   Even 1 series / A3 / A Class should be a priority.

 

It could be done, but certainly no reason not to continue with electrification and petrol mix.

12 October 2018

Smooth, quiet electric power in high end luxury cars would suit the Jaguar brand.

12 October 2018

Please, enough with the crossovers. Jaguar sedans aren't selling because they are boring. If they feel the need to not replace both the XE and XF, that's fine. Making it electric only - Also fine. But give it a) character and b) a coupe version.

 

The way i see an all electric Jaguar line up is;

 

- " XF " Sedan, Sport Wagon and " XK " Coupe

- XJ LWB Sedan

- E Pace Compact CUV 

- F Pace 5 seat " Coupe " CUV ( I Pace replacement ) / 7 seat Mid Size CUV

 

Leave the J Pace to Land Rover, who have already way too many ( identical looking ) balls in the air anyway with their silly " pillars " idea.

 

 

 

12 October 2018
Autocar avoids mentioning Tesla as well as carefully avoiding any positive coverage of it as if it was a contagious disease! Yet Elon Musk's has dealt a fine hand to the expectant rivals the world over. They are all sulking and considering turning electric. Could Volkswagen's cash cow Porsche dream of ditching diesel and turning electric? In the absence of Tesla? Anyway without further ado Jaguar must be welcomed to the ever expanding EV club which Tesla leads by... I should leave it for Autocar to elaborate in a nice story of theirs how far ahead of the curve is this Silicone Valley upstart.

12 October 2018

It’s pretty simple: JLR has no choice other than turn Jag into an all-EV brand. At every level - other than styling - Jag is dead-in-the-water when it comes to their ‘fossil fuel’ competition.

Unlike the The Premiership there are no prizes or dough for coming second, third or fourth. People vote with their feet and few are buying Jaguars on pure merit. Jag had no ‘segment leader’: they have wannabees and ‘nearly’ cars that no one wants from choice. The management, in my view, has been extraordinarily poor and ought to be axed....and sharpish. 

Jag is not an aspirational brand: it’s a brand known for producing cars that are never remotely close to ‘the finished article’ . They ooze Brummie ‘that’ll do-ism’ and the sales figures speak volumes. 

Go EV, manage the pensioning-off of the mediocre XE/XF and exploit the fortuitous era of the electric car. Volvo - who have handled their resurrection process far more wisely- has already eaten Jag’s lunch. It’s now EV or goodbye, Jag. 

 

 

BertoniBertone

12 October 2018

Jaguar and Land Rover have reached for a premium market without a premium product (one that is very reliable).  BMW do the same, the reliability and (real) prestige is a joke.  While companies like Lexus show the way in reliability, the styling of them doesn't, so JLR ride the wave of popularity on style over substance.  However, I hardly think Jaguar switching to EVs only should be 'news' when Volvo and GM beat them to it, and ALL German cars will be EV in just 12 years from now anyway!

I say my bit, then go. So although I'm interested in what you may initially say, I don't care what you think about what I've written, so I won't read whatever your reply is.

12 October 2018

Unless Jaguar can sort out the quality of their production engineering, it doesn't matter what they try to build.  They also need new designers for the exterior and especially the interior.  They should also replace Roadster in these forums with a promoter who has a shred of credibilty.

12 October 2018
EV's combined with luxury - yes. Absolutely the way to go.

Crossovers? No, no and no again. Totally short sighted and a knee jerk reaction - again. Exactly what got them into this message in the first place.

Jaguar X-Type and S-Type sales disappointing - "must be because customers don't like retro styling so let's chuck out all of our design history and copy BMW and Audi by going all diesel, aiming at fleet sales, shoving the prices up and going for anodyne Germanic styling so as not to scare people off"

Jaguar XE and XF sales disappointing - "must be because SUV's are more fashionable than saloons, so let's kill of our saloons and just make crossovers instead".

See the pattern? Bad management, all the way through.

They need to get back to making Jaguars that are elegant, refined, luxurious and sexy. Not retro, but at least true to the brand. And I'm sorry, but that means making saloons and coupes ready for the inevitable end of the SUV craze.

If they follow this strategy they will have the right powertrain in the wrong body style.

Let's not forget that the XE and XF are not selling because they are bland, overpriced, cheaply finished and poorly made. They are mediocre cars and have little Jaguar DNA in them at all.

If Jaguar can produce a range of cars that have the C-XF styling with a beautiful luxury interior (with the traditional wood, but done in a modern way) and the EV powertrain and if they cananage to build them properly and keep the bean counters from raping them to reduce costs, they may have a chance.

My arse just went POP.

12 October 2018

I see one of the rival monthly magazine websites is confidently suggesting the next F Type Coupe will enjoy a BMW power train, is this the indicator that Jaguar no longer see IC power as their future even in the short term and the development costs of a new performance engine are to high for such a short product life, as electrification comes on stream ?

12 October 2018
Ravon wrote:

I see one of the rival monthly magazine websites is confidently suggesting the next F Type Coupe will enjoy a BMW power train, is this the indicator that Jaguar no longer see IC power as their future even in the short term and the development costs of a new performance engine are to high for such a short product life, as electrification comes on stream ?

It's a sign of a company short on development funds trying to do too much with too little under a poor strategy.

My arse just went POP.

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