Jaguar has experienced a strong product renaissance over the past few years, fueled by strong products. Under Ford’s ownership, the brand pursued a strategy developing retro-styled products based on Ford mechanicals.
That plan didn’t work out too well and Jaguar switched course, developing products with a modern design philosophy such as the XF and XJ sedan. Stunning and every bit what Jaguar should be, these models have emerged as serious competitors in the marketplace. However, the brand is hampered with a lineup of just three models – to become more of a force in the industry, more are needed.
A competitor to the Porsche Boxster has been rumored for years, as well as a top-level supercar. Tata Group Chief Executive Officer Ratan Tata wants Jaguar to develop these vehicles. But what about more core volume products? One likely on the way is a crossover.
Whether the decision is right or not depends where Tata Group wants Jaguar wants to be positioned – as an upscale brand more in the vein of Bentley or against competitors like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. While the XJ has gone upmarket, Jaguar is supposedly looking to introduce a smaller sedan model to slot in below the XF.
That would lead to a more mainstream luxury brand approach. Every significant competitor has a crossover and this leaves Jaguar without a piece of a very important model segment. The decision appears to have already been made: Jaguar’s Chief Executive Officer Adrian Hallmark commented to Autocar: “We need a crossover and we need to stop being a saloon-based company,”
Possibilities for easy entry into the market exist, such as developing a platform-mate to the recently-introduced Land Rover Evoque crossover. The Evoque would appear to be a good basis for a Jaguar model, despite being on the smaller side.
It could also test the waters for future development of a larger model. Love them or hate them, crossovers are an important segment of the market. Entrance into the segment, along with a smaller sedan below the XF and a new sportscar, are key elements to growing sales in the United States and abroad.