Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced that it plans to have transitioned the Jaguar side of the business entirely to electric vehicles by 2025. Meanwhile, the more profitable Land Rover brand will be receiving its very first EV sometime in 2024. The plan is backed by a £2.5 billion (roughly $3.5 billion USD) investment.
As usual, take these promises with a grain of salt. Practically every manufacturer has underdelivered when it comes to electrification and features existing under the catch-all mobility tag. Jaguar’s current battery-electric vehicle, the I-Pace, hasn’t exactly been a smash hit and its construction is actually contracted out to Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria. Jag also recently abandoned the new XJ model, which has been in development for years. Ironically, the car was supposed to become the brand’s first all-electric sedan.
While our Ace of Base series delights in revealing just how bargain basement a mainstream vehicle can get, none of those rides hold a candle to the spartan purgatory that was the Tata Nano.
Billed as the world’s cheapest car upon its release in 2008, the Indian-market four-door was tailor-made to lure that country’s growing market of would-be vehicle owners off motorcycles and into a car with two cylinders, 37 horsepower, and a rear hatch that didn’t open.
Not unexpectedly, the vehicle quickly developed a stigma.
We’ve got a special treat for you today — this glorious Aston Martin Lagonda from that future dystopia now long past, 1984. And futuristic it was, when you consider this car was sprawled across luxuriously carpeted showrooms beginning in 1976.
So let’s go back in time. Is your leisure suit ready?
Tata Motors is best known for its unbelievably affordable and incredibly petite Nano supermini and the tiny Ace work truck. In fact, the two are so affordable that you could purchase them both in India with every optional extra and they would cost roughly the same as a base U.S. model Nissan Versa with no add-ons.
Despite still being deeply rooted in the economy car scene, Tata has grown in recent years — it currently builds smaller SUVs — and now wants to build itself a sportscar. While your first inclination is probably to say “how adorable” in a belittling tone, don’t forget that Tata also constructs vans, city buses, commercial trucks, construction equipment, and military vehicles. It could turn out a little basic, but the Indian automaker is probably up to the challenge of a small sports car.
Still, how utterly adorable.
How automakers address the sedan question in India is particularly interesting. It doesn’t involve increasing legroom or wheelbase. It doesn’t involve creating a reason to increase the average transaction price of those cars. And despite India having some of the deadliest roads in the world, it doesn’t involve safety.
In India, most automakers go in the exact opposite direction with their sedans — by building them shorter and cheaper, but no more safer — yet they remain just as comfortable inside as the models on which they’re based.
Jaguar Land Rover will trim $6.8 billion from its expenses by 2020, in part, because of slowing auto sales in China, Reuters reported.
The automaker will consolidate models to common lines, overhaul its supply chain and build 1 million cars by 2020, according to sources familiar with the plan.
The plan, which is called Leap 4.5 (presumably because the plan cuts £4.5 billion), will also help the automaker afford increasingly difficult emissions standards.
More and more automakers are looking at exotic locales to produce their wares (us Canadians can consider Mexico exotic thanks to its ice-free beaches) as they expand their brands and explore in-roads to untapped markets.
For Jeep, that means investing in a shared money-printing press with an unlikely partner: Tata, the parent company of Land Rover. FCA will put $280 million USD into joint venture Fiat India Automobiles Private Limited which, since 2007, has solely produced Fiat models.
It’s not often a car company, or any group of people for the matter, will admit mistakes – particularly billion dollar mistakes. That’s why the launch of the all-new Tata GenX Nano is refreshing. Based on former CEO Ratan Tata’s dream of moving Indians who transport their entire families on scooters and motorcycles into safer – albeit, basic – four wheeled automobiles, the very fact the original 2009 Nano was the least expensive car on sale anywhere in the world proved to be an albatross around the Nano’s tiny neck. Even Indians aspiring to the middle class of a developing country, it turns out, aspire to be seen in something other than the cheapest car in the world. They’d rather buy a used Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, the hatchback that more or less defines India’s entry level car segment. In recognition of that reality, the new GenX Nano will now be positioned as an entry level hatchback to more directly compete with the Alto 800, Hyundai Eon and the newly announced Renault Kwid.
The reasons for the drop of the red line and the steady rise of the grey line on today’s chart are perhaps too numerous to count.
Additional product for one brand. Less intervention at another.
A move toward high-riding vehicles helped one brand. A move away from traditional cars harmed the other. These two factors are made all the more apparent when one brand employs a full lineup of SUVs/crossovers and the other has yet to bring its first utility vehicle to market.
One brand’s message has been artfully constructed over a few decades; the other’s has been muddied for at least a generation.
A recent stay in India has enabled me to get a much better understanding of the Indian new car market and its dynamics which have very unique characteristics. Understanding India is essential in today’s worldwide automotive scene – a lot of the innovation taking place here will soon be applied to other developing markets (like Africa).
Land Rover’s Solihull plant will produce all-aluminum 3 Series fighters for Jaguar, starting in 2015
The Ford Mondeo based X-Type failed to get Jaguar a foothold in the segment that is usually defined by the BMW 3 Series and the cars that compete with the 3. Now the Financial Times has reported that Jaguar will be launching an entire line of entry level luxury vehicles for that critical segment and that the new cars, said to be ready for sale about two years from now, will benefit from Jaguar’s expertise with lightweight aluminum structures.