Jaguar is planning to reposition itself with a new range of highly profitable, low-volume models to make it Britain’s equivalent to Porsche.
The plan will roll out over the next five years as the new XK and S-type arrive and a replacement for the X-type is decided on. It is unlikely that Jaguar will invest in another entry-level luxury saloon, a highly competitive market where profits are tight. ‘We want to get away from selling cars in markets where incentives and support are needed,’ said a spokesperson. ‘It affects residual values and image.’ Jaguar won’t repeat the mistake of the X-type. Although it is now profitable in Europe, it is not in the US and has only sold half of the 100,000 planned.
Most likely is a Porsche Cayenne rival to replace the X-type as Jaguar’s fourth model line. But a supercar or £80,000 four-seat luxury coupé must also be possibilities, and a decision is likely to be made in the next 12 months.
A Jaguar 4x4 could retail for between £40k and £70k and sell 25,000 units a year, half that of the X-type, but it would be much more profitable. ‘A Cayenne-type 4x4 is the sort of car that Jaguar could do,’ said a senior engineer, ‘one that’s focused on performance and handling more than off-road ability.’ This is a distinction that would position a Jaguar 4x4 away from the Range Rover, whose off-road capabilities compromise handling.