By on October 13, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover has a problem, and it’s not Land Rover. The Indian-owned (but still quintessentially British) automaker has seen sales of is fairly vast Land Rover family flourish, at the expense of its Jag models. Sedan sales are grim, and the two SUVs launched to prop up the brand haven’t kept its head above water, volume-wise.

Reportedly, JLR has proposed a radical solution: turn the brand into an all-electric family, thus boosting the corporate MPG of the automaker as a whole while keeping Jaguar viable in a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. Putting aside heritage and associated romance, it’s hard to come up with an argument against it.

According to Autocar, company product planners have laid out a yet-unapproved strategy that would see the marque shed all gas-powered vehicles within the next decade. The inspiration for this plan is rooted in anger — specifically, that of Tata, JLR’s Indian owner. Tata doesn’t like how sales are trending, especially in light of its recent investments.

Reportedly, planning is at a fairly advanced stage. The outline of the strategy would see the flagship XJ convert to a full EV in the next couple of years (a plan already well advertised), with the XE and XF sedans bowing out in 2023. Their replacement would be an electric crossover slightly larger than Audi’s E-Tron, which would show up around 2025 — the same time as the phase-out of the F-Pace and E-Pace crossovers. There’ll also be a new I-Pace EV crossover (due in the U.S. this fall) appearing at this time. A new range-topping utility vehicle, the J-Pace, will launch for 2021 and enter retirement around 2027.

As for the F-Type sports coupe and convertible, it won’t make it halfway through the coming decade. No direct replacement is planned. Just to reiterate, this plan has not received a go signal from JLR.

Were JLR to pull the trigger, execs imagine a near future where Jaguar, with four or five models available, captures a large slice of Europe’s burgeoning premium EV segment. Other markets, China being at the top, could prove receptive as well.

European cities are increasingly pushing for all-out bans on internal combustion vehicles, with German cities already allowed to restrict use (and movement) of older diesel models within their boundaries. Going EV would give the brand free reign. The developments costs would be cushioned by the galloping Land Rover family, which continues to see its sales rise, and partially absorbed by higher MSRPs. A sharp rise in corporate fuel economy would also allow the Land Rover range to forgo expensive investments in electrification. Buyers seem to like their Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles just the way they are, and there’s the upcoming Defender to consider, too.

In the U.S., the steep sales increase seen from 2015 to 2017 reversed in 2018. Year to date, Jaguar sales are down 30 percent over the same period last year. September saw a 38 percent year-over-year decrease for the marque, while the Land Rover family rose 9 percent to a new record for the month.

Early reviews of the I-Pace crossover show Jaguar already has the capability of building an engaging EV with significant sporting and utility appeal. Owners of old E-Types can even have their rides converted to electric power without altering the car’s weight balance. In short: electrification is already attaching itself to Jaguar’s identity.

Those worried about heritage and tradition bemoaned the introduction of the F-Pace — a vehicle that’s done more to keep Jaguar alive in the past two years than anything else — and the continued shift of consumer preferences towards SUVs means survival as a company depends on following the changing winds and anticipating new ones. No one’s forecasting the return of the car, nor a decline in EV growth.

[Images: Jaguar Land Rover]

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39 Comments on “An All-electric Jaguar Range? Might As Well…...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    Just kill the brand. Any dollar spent on Jaguar development is a dollar that would have better return if spent on Land Rover.

    Many (every?) premium Euro brand is already planning to go near 100% EV soon so there’s nothing unique here. Just an expensive failure to eat up SUV profits.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    But everyone knows Jag is going to be great since Ford is no longer runner ng them.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Their products are much better, the question is more around the marketing and packaging. Ford’s history of non-core acquisition isn’t great, and if you’re really going to hold up Ford as the pinnacle of running brands – tell me again about the great job they did with Mercury.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        The products are better (I was not a fan of the whole premier Auto group thing at Ford). However they aren’t at the level of the top dogs in the segment either. I drove one of their wagons last time I was in the market and liked it…but not enough to lease or buy it.

        With respect to Mercury, they were more a victim of a changing market I think. Nobody is in the “slightly nicer than the parent brand” segment anymore. Lincoln went downmarket and Ford offered higher trim models. No room for Mercury.

        I’d have agreed with you though had you said Lincoln.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          I think people forget how much Jaguar improved when Ford took over. They just started running out of money and couldn’t keep it going.

          But I wasn’t a fan of PAG either; if you want to know why Lincoln became what it did, it’s because it was pretty much neglected in favor of the other PAG brands.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    This is the obvious answer but I don’t know if Jag has the capital to weather the early hesitation to EVs due to charging infrastructure, range anxiety and the parade of blathering idiots decrying change.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Jaguar and electrical systems – a long loving history built on trust. ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Oh my…an electric car with Lucas electictronics. Talk about living on the edge.

      • 0 avatar
        arthurk45

        Boy, does that date you

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Even Honda CR-Vs with S-VINs often have wiring issues. Don’t get me started about the German and Indian cars built in the UK.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I’m not old enough to have owned any new, but I went through a phase when I lived in Europe in the 90s with some classic British stuff during which I made plenty of burnt offerings to the prince of darkness. Those electrics were like the Atlanta Falcons…they would fail spectacularly in a manner that left you completely scratching your head. They were bad enough that my next “phase” left me marveling at how reliable Alfa Romeos were. I finally got an e30 chassis BMW and realized what a well built car was.

  • avatar
    NG5

    Haha darn you beat me to the British electronics joke. That aside, I find the I Pace kind of ugly in the photos. How does a generally great design brand mess up once they have the opportunity to design something without an ICE in it?

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Jaguars real problem is that sales of Sedans are dropping across the board. They are now making some of the best Sedans they have ever made at a time when fewer people want them. Jaguar has two options out Porsche Porsche or go all electric or both. For me they should drop the XE, electrify the range and make a cracking Audi R8 competitor.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    In 2007, when I was shopping for an automotive retirement present for myself, Jaguar’s XK8 coupe would have been a candidate except for the absence of a manual transmission. If I were shopping today, the F-Type coupe with a manual would be candidate. If they drop the F-Type, there will be nothing in their line up that interests me.

    I shudder at the thought of electrifying old E-Types. The later cars, maybe, since emissions and safety regulations pretty much ruined them. However, doing that to a Series 1 car would be sacrilege.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    FWIW, Tesla’s YTD US sales are 5.5x that of Jaguar’s.
    Jaguar would do well to make a Supercharger deal with Tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      Or look at the flip side. Jaguar sold 33X more cars in the UK than Tesla did.

      Or in a different measure, 0.0014% of the UK car (excluding SUV) sales are Tesla’s

    • 0 avatar
      arthurk45

      Tesla sales have noithing to do with gas powred Jaguars, and those YTD “sales” are, in the case of Model3 , their best seller, not really sales at all – those xars were bought by peope on the waiting loist years ago. Watch what hapend when the waiting list is exhausted before making any silly claims about Model 3 sales. As for Jaguar, their I Pace has been reviewed and compares very favorably to its electric competition – mostly Tesla’s Model S and X. I would point out that it is clearly superior to any Tesla vehicle, and its upcoming Performance version will outrun any and all Tesla vehicles, even their $120,000 plus Performance Model S and Model X cars, AND their upcoming $250,000 sports car as well, which ever-the-liar Musk foolishly claimed would be “the fastest production car in the world.” Sorry Elon, you “misspoke” again (does that creature ever tell the truth?)

  • avatar

    If it cost as much as they plan to ask for why should I buy it instead of Tesla? Tesla is a proper electric car with elegant and distinctive design, no fake grills, cutting edge technology from heart of Silicon Valley and more prestige. Jaguar is a quintessential petrol car. Looks too generic for electric car. It could be a Ford or Hyundai as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      If you think modern Jags look like Hyundai’s…well I don’t know.

      And I owned a Saturn S series in the early 90s that didn’t have a grill either (nor the vestigal sopt for one like the S) that was arguably a more futuristic looking car (especially for it’s time) than a model S…so long as you didn’t open the door and look at the interior anyway.

      Many ICE cars of that period were without grills. I think it was pedestrian standards that brought them back. When frontends and hoodlines got high designers needed to fill the space but engineers have long since figured out how to cool a motor without a grill.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      And a Mark VIII or an SC3/400 still look more futuristic than a model S. Swap in modern infotainment and features but leave them alone otherwise and either one would be the best looking cars on the market today.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Jaguar’s big problem is that they charge a premium for a vehicle that doesn’t really excite.

    Why pay German luxury prices for a Jag when you can just buy German, or pick up a Volvo that looks significantly better.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    Jaguar is now dead to me. This electrification fad ( aka sh!+ting upstream ) is only further reinforcing my long-time practice of buying great used cars; wrenching on them myself; and avoiding the depreciation of a new car. Pollution? Give me a break: at work I burn at least 240L of particulate-laden Diesel every day to build and rebuild roads for thousands of other cars and trucks to use. The 12L of gas I use to get to work and back doesn’t even figure. It might do so if bunker fuel and avgas are ever banned but, as it stands, my old truck and car are pretty clean and green in comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      You said it youself: you burn 240L of diesel so that thousands of other cars can use the roads. Say they’re only using 12L getting to work and back like you. 12L times how many thousands? And no one stretch of road is under constant construction, yet those roads are under constant use. 12L x 100k cars = 1.2 million liters. That adds up.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Jaguar – a brand with a storied history of making beautiful sedans and sports cars, which was important because the proud owner would be looking at them a lot while waiting for tow trucks to arrive due to Lucas electrical problems. Today, Jaguar still makes beautiful sedans and sports cars, and they are even competitively reliable, but nobody wants a sedan or sports car (or if they do they go German or Italian or Tesla). Jaguar’s history – including a history of bad electricals, means it is a brand without a purpose – especially for Tata which already has Land Rover to cover the growing SUV market. Time to shutter Jaguar or go the Morgan route and make replica E-types, XK-120s, and MK7s.

  • avatar
    arthurk45

    All automakers will go all electric in the near furture. Already GM, Volvo and VW have declared an all-electric future.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Jaguars I Pace volumes are gradually ticking up from about 140 in August to 718 in September. Whilst that doesn’t sound a lot they have had production issues so the numbers don’t necessarily reflect the order book which Jaguar says is strong. If they can crack 4000 a month for a car which costs 65,000 pounds I think they will be happy

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I figured the next XJ was definitely going to be an all-electric Tesla fighter. The full-size market pretty much consists of the S-Class and 7 Series, and everyone else fighting for scraps. So we’ve seen competitors do things to differentiate themselves. Audi is doubling down on the technology and AI. Lexus has gone for a sleeker, sportier, distinctly Japanese shape and sharper handling. Oddly, the only traditional entrant is the Genesis G90, whose tactic is simply to undercut the others in price (and likely repairs), pretty much becoming what the old LS was.

    So, the XJ going full electric? I bet it’s a question of when, not if.

    And the other cars could follow suit. I can’t wait to get my hands on an I-PACE.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I love all this anti-Jag sentiment. You guys are helping to depress resale values of the XF, a pretty great car by most measures. For that I thank you.

    Jag used to make absolute crapboxes, but what years were those? Pre-Ford? Around the time Hyundai made the Excel?

    As a BMW X5 owner, I can tell you who’s making the crap now.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    JLR should work on getting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto first. For that reason alone, I took the Velar and F-Pace off our short list.

  • avatar
    northeaster

    Jaguar may be running out of time as a compelling brand without complete electrification. There are rapidly decreasing numbers of old guys who remember seeing an E-type or early XJ sedan (not so life changing, but still ok) for the first time. And now, an F-type just isn’t enough to pay the bills anyway (see Porsche).

    I was not far from buying an F-Pace but the reputation for wonky electronics (even post-Lucas) and the prospect of trying to fix one with a handful of certified aluminum body shops around Boston, combined with an OK but not exceptional interior drove me to spend about $20k less on an Audi wagon.

    Without those changes, there are going to be more rather than fewer buyers like me I’d think.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I don’t know that Jag has 5-7 years to wait. They should start looking into electrifying their existing range ASAP, then move to dedicated EV platforms later.

    Not really sure they have to completely electrify the whole range either. They just dumped a ton of money into the new Ingenium 4 bangers. Why not use those in hybrids? EVs are growing but they’re not for everybody. Seems logical to use existing assets to cast the widest net possible.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    How many brands of midsize luxury electric SUVs can we have? How big is that market really? Literally the only reasons I can imagine anyone would consider a Johnny-come-lately brand to this space instead of a Tesla are that a) the Model X’s space-egg styling isn’t for everyone, b) they want to pay a bit less than the Model X’s base price (as if price really matters when you can afford something on the wrong side of the $50k mark), or c) they only want an extravagant second car, since that’s what it’s going to be limited to in the absence of Tesla’s dedicated true high-speed charging network.

    If the manufacturers’ concern is just enabling their Euro customers to continue to drive in the city center, they can do that with the same half-baked, bad-faith, short-range PHEVs that BMW, Volvo, and Audi currently specialize in: tacking a joke of a battery and plug onto a standard gasoline hybrid car and saying “look, ma, you can go for 10 miles on electricity!” (if you never turn on the heat or push the throttle more than halfway). They’re garbage, but they drive right through the loophole.

    If — and this is a big if — automakers are serious about EVs, they need to build machines with serious range and strong performance down in the mid-price class. So far, only Chevy has done that, although Hyundai isn’t too far behind if they can ever get around to ramping up production.

    Jaguar promises an $85k midsize electric SUV, Audi promises an $85k midsize electric SUV, Volvo promises their $85k midsize SUV will eventually be legitimately electric — who cares. We don’t need more $85k luxury electric SUVs. We need the Fat Camry of EVs: something that blows people away with how good it is for its midrange price.


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