Jaguar’s new design boss, Julian Thomson, is committed to the firm continuing to make sports cars and saloons, and not simply creating more and more SUVs.
Thomson, who recently took over from Ian Callum, told Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show that the company will not “go full bore into SUVs – we will do cars in the future, too”. The firm has invested heavily in SUVs in recent years because of their strong sales, while its saloon models have struggled.
“Cars [non-SUVs] are an important market to us,” he said. “We now have lots of competent SUVs in our showroom but we need to satisfy all customers with different powertrain and body choices.”
Jaguar will replace the XJ with a more dramatic and electric-powered saloon, which will be seen by the end of 2020 and in production soon after. That machine was teased at the firm’s Frankfurt press conference.
“It’s more challenging to do standout products in that market but Jags need to be different and new,” said Thomson. “The world’s not all turning SUV and we will need cars. I believe that.”
Although replacements for the XE and XF aren’t due for some years yet, the XF is due an imminent overhaul similar to that seen recently on the XE, Thomson confirmed.
The F-Type is also set to undergo revisions of its own in the coming months and Thomson confirmed that the car will also continue in future generations.
“With sports cars, you’ve got to have them,” said Thomson. “They’re flag waving for a premium brand and the dream still exists for people. Whether or not they’ll go electric, the jury is still out.”