By on July 7, 2020

Tata Motors has been hunting for a new CEO at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), and new reports claim the search is narrowing in scope. At the start of 2020, the company announced that Ralf Speth would step down as chief executive in September, and that the quest for his replacement had begun — though it technically began in 2019.

We’ve since learned he will stick around as non-executive vice-chairman of JLR and supervise the transition of leadership, with details now emerging about his likely successor. It’s a clever way of keeping him around as he ages into retirement at 65 years, as per the parent company’s corporate policy.

According to the Financial Times, Tata has narrowed it down to three candidates. Internally, JLR seems as though it would like to promote its engineering lead, Nick Rogers. But former Audi CEO Bram Schot and BMW development boss Klaus Fröhlich are also under consideration, in addition to Fred Schulze — Audi’s product line manager at the Ingolstadt plant.  (Read More…)

By on June 23, 2020

Jaguar logo

Fielding a full range of passenger cars is soooo yesterday, man. Almost no one does it anymore. Certainly, no American automaker, anyway.

Across the pond, Jaguar finds itself at a fork in the road. The sedan market is drying up, and along with it, sales of its compact XE and midsize XF models. The XJ is going electric, so that’s a decision already made.

But what to do at the bottom end of the market? (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2020

Ever been to a party where the most interesting person wasn’t the life of the room, but the quiet person in the corner, calmly — perhaps a little shyly — sipping their drink and taking in all the things occurring before them?

Vehicle designers seem like that person. The braggadocious CEOs and upper-level execs can have their carefully scripted buzzwords and future-minded visions of a soulless future filled with robot cars and never not working, but a designer will want to talk about emotion. A feeling. A simple pleasure. A small feature with outsized importance.

Jaguar’s design boss likes to talk about those things, but he’s not afraid to raise the errors of the past. (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

A brace of road-oriented electric crossovers will join the upcoming XJ at Jaguar Land Rover’s historic Castle Bromwich assembly plant, Autocar reports. The UK plant, formerly home to wartime aircraft production, will pivot to EVs with the help of a $1.2 billion investment.

With Jag pulling the bulk of its volume from crossovers, the addition of a larger crossover is a no-brainer; meanwhile, Land Rover’s shadowy Road Rover is said to be a go — minus the name itself. That leaves the slow-selling XE and XF sedans as the big question marks in the brand’s future lineup. (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2020

When rumors began to spread that Jaguar was on the cusp of axing its long-running XJ (seen above) in favor of an electric car with a more versatile body, the purist in everyone no doubt squirmed at the thought. The XJ is meant to be a flagship sedan, and part of that role involves looking like one.

Jaguar did end up discontinuing the model. Now, as the XJ’s replacement draws near, we can at least inform you that it won’t look like a made-over Citroën C6 that hums. (Read More…)

By on February 20, 2020

JLR/YouTube

Automakers go to great pains to show off their vehicles in the best possible light. Via the deft touch of their respective marketing teams, ordinary machines suddenly grow the ability to do the impossible: getting the hopelessly nerdy guy his dream girl, soothing inconsolable babies, and performing feats of strength that would leave even Frank aghast.

In official pictures and film, the worst fate to befall a vehicle is normally an artistic splattering of mud around the wheel wells. Perfection is always a car wash away.

Not so in the “ad” just released by Jaguar Land Rover, which piggybacks on the exploits of a filmmaking team and gives them all the marketing support they ask for in return. Despite JLR using a Bond movie to its benefit, it’s good to see a vehicle being put to its full potential in a commercial — and sustaining damage in the process. It harkens back to those old Volvo ads of yore, in which abuse factors heavily. (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2020

Destination Zero is a catchall for Jaguar Land Rover’s future projects. It envisions a tomorrow where pollution, traffic congestion and accidents have all been eliminated — hence the “zero” suffix. While the company probably has bigger fish to fry, what with the coronavirus-related parts shortage and financial troubles in several key markets, it has made investments into self-driving tech and electrification like every other automaker. Sometimes you have to show your hand to prove you’re still at the table.

On Tuesday, the company announced Project Vector — an adaptable city vehicle that’s claimed to be “autonomy-ready.” (Read More…)

By on February 12, 2020

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar Land Rover is reportedly putting I-Pace production on hold for a week thanks to a battery shortage at supplier LG Chem.

While sales of the model are ridiculously low in North America, European deliveries average about 1,000 units per month. That’s comparable to the Audi e-Tron, which also suffered production delays due in part to its relationship with the supplier. Before that, Hyundai was the one pointing the finger at LG Chem after running out of batteries for the Ioniq EV. (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2020

Jaguar Land Rover has decided to stall production at two of its British factories for several weeks. Starting in late February, JLR intends to stop work at both its Castle Bromwich Assembly and Solihull plants until the end of March. The factories won’t be totally inactive for the duration; the manufacturer claims there will be half days intermixed with full-day closures.

Unlike the bulk of plant idlings taking place across the globe (though mostly in China), this has nothing to do with the coronavirus. While the outbreak has begun disrupting supply chains as the PRC attempts to keep the illness in check by barring people inside their homes, JLR said it’s stalling UK production to address falling demand and Brexit complications — the latter of which is beginning to feel like a lame excuse.  (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2020

Ralf Speth, the longtime CEO of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), is stepping down. Parent company Tata Motors confirmed the move, saying Speth would continue serving as a non-executive vice chairman on the board holding company and advisor to JLR.

At 64, Speth is easing into retirement after having led the company for the last ten years. He’s scheduled to leave his post in September, having spent the brunt of his tenure expanding the company’s global footprint.

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of the Tata Sons holding company, said a search committee has been formed will work closely with him to identify a suitable successor in the coming months. But news of Speth’s prospective replacement followed closely after the retirement announcement.  (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2020

Image: JLR

As Jaguar Land Rover lunges forward with its “Project Charge” turnaround plan, things aren’t nearly as grim as they were a year ago. Which is exactly what the automaker’s parent, Tata Motors, wants to hear.

Despite a softening in global sales, the automaker made progress on many fronts, crediting its cost-cutting and product plan with a return to black ink. (Read More…)

By on December 10, 2019

Maybe Land Rover isn’t so removed from its former parent, after all. Whereas Ford saw the resurrection of the Bronco nameplate as an opportunity to butch up an Escape, Land Rover apparently sees the return of the storied Defender as an excuse to push its lineup downmarket.

No, not with the Defender itself — the range-topping SUV will only go upward in price, Autocar reports, but the opportunity lies in sprinkling some of its design magic over a new entry-level model. (Read More…)

By on December 3, 2019

Jaguar has revealed its facelifted 2021 F-Type, offering a sleeker body and angrier mug. Headlamps are now oriented horizontally, possessing the LED accenting we saw on the Vision Gran Turismo concept. The rest is more-or-less what you’d expect from the brand. Some of the curves have been smoothed out, an industry trend this writer has very mixed feelings about. But nobody screwed the pooch here. The F-Type remains an exceptionally attractive vehicle, intent on grabbing everyone’s attention without being obnoxiously flamboyant.

Overall, it’s a comprehensive update that transforms the vehicle without making it feel alien or desperate. You might even be fooled into thinking it was entirely new — which is the whole point of a mid-cycle refresh.  (Read More…)

By on October 14, 2019

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar’s electric I-Pace (not to be confused with the gas powered E-Pace) earned unflattering press this past summer after slow sales led to ballooning inventories of the brand’s first EV. Now, there’s another PR stroke against the model, and electricity once again lies at the core of the issue.

As new safety features proliferate across the industry, electronic stability control stands out as one of the veteran lifesaving nannies, joining the fray after anti-lock brakes, airbags, and crumple zones became the norm. In the I-Pace’s case, ESC conspired to turn the model’s “moose test” into a viral sensation. (Read More…)

By on October 1, 2019

Despite delivering what could be considered a desirable premium EV with the I-Pace, Jaguar Land Rover admits it’s not entirely sold on the idea of electric sport utility vehicles. Due to their size, SUVs and crossovers are inherently heavier than traditional sedans — placing them at odds with the goal of maximizing efficiency.

More mass means diminished range. While this can be offset by a manufacturer installing larger battery packs, that increases costs and ultimately adds more heft to the single heaviest component in an EV. Large electrics bring other issues to the engineering table, too.

“The larger the vehicle the larger the aero challenge. If you’re not careful you end up with such big batteries and you make the vehicles so heavy that as you race down the autobahn the range disappears,” Nick Rogers, JLR’s head of engineering, told media at the company’s revamped engineering and design center in Gaydon, England. (Read More…)

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