As JLR announces job losses, we ponder whether the revived 4x4 icon can contribute to a revival
10 January 2019

Now, more than ever,  Jaguar Land Rover could do with a major new model line, following last year’s sales slump and the news today of thousands of job losses.

According to official figures, Jaguar’s saloon range – made in Castle Bromwich – is the main issue. 

In the three months from July to September last year, just 7700 XEs and 7400 XFs were sold, along with only 900 of the ageing XJ, while the F-Pace SUV is selling around 700 units a month. 

That equates to just over 6000 cars per month. An annualised output of just 72,000 cars a year explains why Castle Bromwich – which got £100m in investment just two years ago – was recently on a three-day week

More worryingly, Jaguar’s well-received F-Pace (made in Solihull) saw year-on-year sales between July and September fall by 5800, compared with the same period in 2017, to 10,300. 

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E-Pace sales are climbing and the I-Pace appears to be doing well, but it’s a fair bet that Jaguar’s saloon range is not about to undergo a second coming, even with the upcoming XE and XF facelifts

The much-rumoured XJ EV is thought to be due next year but is unlikely to patch the Jaguar-shaped hole in JLR’s production plans. 

Which is where the new Defender could come in. Although it’s at least a year away from the showroom, it could well underpin JLR’s future growth. According to financial documents released last autumn, the future Defender family is regarded as Land Rover’s third ‘brand pillar’ alongside the Range Rover and Discovery

The Defender’s brief is to mix ‘off-road expertise’ with ‘practicality, functionality and durability’. A quarter of a century after Ford kicked things off with the Aston Martin DB7, the Defender is perhaps the last of a long line of great British automotive revivals on which much hope is placed. Sources have said the styling of the new car references the original model but it is a long way from a slavish copy. Prices will start at £40,000 and it’s the first model based on JLR’s all-new MLA aluminium platform. So far, so good. 

But there must also be risks with an entirely new retro-facing family of vehicles, sales of which are likely to have been pencilled in for 100,000 units per year by 2022. 

Firstly, the original Defender was never durable in the way that Toyota’s Land Cruiser is known for. Will serious off-road drivers be tempted to make the switch? 

Will those ‘adventure-minded’ families who have been less than impressed with the Discovery 5 (currently the smallest-selling LR model) switch to the new Defender instead? And will another family of vehicles prove a step too far for a smallish car maker which already has 13 different model families? 

If, as expected, Defender production is destined for JLR’s new Slovakian factory, there is likely to be a considerable row in the West Midlands. Castle Bromwich is running at less than 60% capacity, job losses look likely and, adding insult to injury, the E-Pace and I-Pace are also made abroad. 

There’s no doubt JLR is on the rack and the Defender is something of a light at the end of the tunnel. But it would be a mistake to expect the last of the revived British icons to be a guaranteed fix for JLR’s problems.

Read more

New Land Rover Defender: reveal confirmed for 2019

Jaguar Land Rover to skip 2019 Geneva motor show​

Jaguar Land Rover posts £90 million loss after sales drop​

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Comments
16

10 January 2019

No mention of the Evoke and the I_pace is well ahead of anything BMW, Mercedes or Audi have on the ROAD, and, I'm still seeing loads of new Land Rovers about.  Yes things aren't great but it's all to easy to pick up on worst models of any line-up.

Try Alfa's, the Mito, Giulietta, 4C,  the new Giula only just beats the XE which is due updates soon.

And maybe look at Daimlers share price over the last year or so 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

10 January 2019
This is a common sentiment. How many have they sold?

10 January 2019

They need:

Platform 1: RR/RR 4dr coupe/RR lwb/Discovery/Velar (the base platform smaller than today's full size model) all on one platform - same chassis, same engines, same production line, same hidden parts but different top-hat and visible parts. Same width different lengths.

Platform 2: Evoque/Disco Sports/XE4wd/XF4wd (XE lwb) on one platform

Platform 3: small Jag/RR fwd platform to challenge A/GLA/CLA (Jag)/GLB (RR)

Cancel the Defender unless it's already part of platform 1. 

3 engine families - 1.5 3 cyl, 2.0 4 cyl, 3.0 inline 6 cyl. Petrol/diesel engines for each size. All built on the same assembly line. Must be able to be mounted transverse or inline. Hybrid std, EV optional for all platforms. 

10 January 2019

I like all that, but as I explain in another thread, Moody's has pinpointed that to get out of its rut, JLR needs massive investment in new models - I say more mainstream ones like Mokka, Yeti, and Jimny.  Tata have been so dragged down by JLR that Moody's are saying Tata are at 'junk' level now, so there's going to be no investment from Tata over and above that already coming...so they're in deep trouble.  Your plan, although sensible and good, would only come from a new buyer.  JLR also have a potential problem in building in Slovakia in that it really won't be seen as a British car company, and that's got to hurt the image to some extent.  Jeep understood this, you wouldn't see the Wrangler built anywhere else other than the US.

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.

FM8

10 January 2019
Guy08 wrote:

They need:

Platform 1: RR/RR 4dr coupe/RR lwb/Discovery/Velar (the base platform smaller than today's full size model) all on one platform - same chassis, same engines, same production line, same hidden parts but different top-hat and visible parts. Same width different lengths.

Platform 2: Evoque/Disco Sports/XE4wd/XF4wd (XE lwb) on one platform

Platform 3: small Jag/RR fwd platform to challenge A/GLA/CLA (Jag)/GLB (RR)

Cancel the Defender unless it's already part of platform 1. 

3 engine families - 1.5 3 cyl, 2.0 4 cyl, 3.0 inline 6 cyl. Petrol/diesel engines for each size. All built on the same assembly line. Must be able to be mounted transverse or inline. Hybrid std, EV optional for all platforms. 

That 2 too many.

10 January 2019
This article states that 10,300 F-Pace were sold in the 3 months between July and September. JLR's corporate website includes downloads for monthly retail sales (I assume this excludes fleet etc). Those three months averaged over 5000/month, more than 15000 in the period.

10 January 2019
...whilst also saying F-Pace only sold 700 per month but somehow that adds up to 10,300 in the months. Perhaps the 700 figure is for the UK alone. C'mon Autocar, how hard can this be?

10 January 2019

That means tougher and more reliable than the Lancruiser and the Hilux pick up.

If it’s just another Chelsea Tractor it will be doomed.

Steam cars are due a revival.

10 January 2019

"Can the new Defender help turn around Jaguar Land Rover?"

 

No.

JLR needs massive investment in new 'mainstream' models, not up-market ones.  Tata aren't going to give that investment, so the answer is no.  Also, JLR have left it soooooo late with the new Defender that the Jeep Wrangler will be stiff competition (especially when a free trade deal with the US will make their models £5,000 cheaper than currently!) and Ford are busy planning the new Bronco.  There will be other manufactuers in the Defender sector as well, like Ineos, so the answer is an emphatic no.

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.

10 January 2019
In a word, no.

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