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What the hell is Jaguar doing?

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EVs – not doing so well. Mercedes’s promise of an all-electric lineup by 2030? Just kidding. The Audi e-Tron GT? Half-off! Can’t find good deal on a BMW? Try an iX or an i4. And yet, here comes Jaguar.

“The majority of our products cease production in June, but they will be on sale for a much longer time.” – Joe Eberhardt, Jaguar Land Rover’s North American President and CEO

What?

What’s the plan for Jaguar?

Jaguar F-PACE SVR
This was a great car, with a great motor.

It’s pretty funny. First, all production of ICE-powered cars will end production in June, as Mr. CEO said. But they hope to have enough of an inventory stockpiled to get them through the end of the year, and maybe even longer.

That means you might be buying a Jaguar with an engine under the hood as far as 2026. Can you imagine the discount you’ll get on a “new” car that’s two years old?

Why the delay? Seems Jaguar themselves aren’t even sure when the all-electric range will come out, and “hope we have enough” is the best business plan they could conceive of.

What about Land Rover?

defender
Save a horse, ride a Defender.

Well, Land Rover actually, you know, sells cars:

In the year ending last March, Jaguar sold just under 43,000 cars globally, while the combined Land Rover brands managed nearly 280,000.

Understand that in the U.S., Jaguar sold just 8,000 cars in 2023, compared to 66,000 Land Rovers. This is what happens when your product become stale – in 2017, they sold 40,000 cars here.

Not willing to kill the Golden Goose, JLR is leaving Land Rover alone.

What will Jaguar eventually sell?

F-TYPE R
The F-TYPE R.

The thing I find extremely curious about all this is the kind of EVs Jaguar will be selling; very expensive ones.

“We just knew that we didn’t want to be another volume luxury brand, that is not something that aligns with the Jaguar philosophy.”

That’ right from Eberhardt, but I call bullshit. Jaguar tried to be mainstream for 20 years, since their partnership with Ford. How else could they explain products like the XF, or (gulp), the X-Type?

Remember the X-Type, the Jag based on a Lincoln? I hope you don’t. At any rate, they tried and failed, and that’s why all the EVs they are going to make will be very expensive. We’re talking $120k and beyond.

So in a world where even the magnificent Porsche Taycan can be had for a discount right now (and Porsche never gives discounts), Jag’s answer is to produce a car that will immediately need to be discounted.

Has Jaguar even been relevant?

F-TYPE R
I’m not saying inside was bad, but for $121,000, it needed to be more.

I think part of the issue with Jaguar is that they see themselves in a different light than the world does. I say this as someone who’s worked with them extensively on marketing over the years.

Take the F-PACE SUV. The SVR was really special, drove better than an X3 M, and at under $100k, right around the correct price. But take away the motor and some of the nice finishes, and you’re left with a mediocre SUV that was tight in the back and not all that luxurious to drive. The F-TYPE too, an excellent sports car on sale beyond its expiration date. When you’re priced like a Corvette Z06, you better bring the biggest guns you have. A dash design from 2014 just isn’t going to cut it, no matter how good that supercharged V-8 was.

F-PACE-svr

If you ask me (and they haven’t), I would have focused on that SVR brand, and perhaps made one model available below it. Keep the base prices higher, and you can afford to keep the car at a more premium level.

This is the beginning of the end for Jaguar

F-PACE-svr
You may never see this badge again.

“The number of Jaguar dealers in the States has already started to fall, Eberhardt saying that more than 40 have already voluntarily surrendered their franchises.”

Right now, it’s called “Jaguar Land Rover”, or JLR. But in the future, it’ll be Land Rover (pause)…Jag. The cars will be sold in the same dealerships next to Land Rover products, and some LR dealers won’t even get them. Making your product harder to get is never a good business plan.

And hey – Consumer Reports, right? JLR cars have terrible reliability and production quality. That’s been the way since the brand’s inception. You pay a premium, and you’re left with inconvenience. On top of that, the brand wants to make their cars more complex.

Alpina B8
A car like the Alpina B8 is everything a Jaguar should be, but isn’t.

How’s that going to work out for them?

The luxury segment is a crowded one, but the reason that BMW, Mercedes and Audi dominate is because they have clear plans of action, and can adjust quickly to market demands. For Jaguar, it seems the demands were just too much.

Info from Road and Track.

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