Last week, Thierry Bolloré, CEO of the Jaguar-Land Rover Group, gave an update on the electrification plans of both companies. We learned from that update that Jaguar is accelerating its previously announced plan to switch to fully electric vehicles, with 2025 as the target.
Even with things moving as they are in the industry, 2025 is a mighty tight timeline.
We learned last week as well that one of the electric models to come, na adapted version of the XJ sedan, is no longer the works. The news surprised many people, if only because when an automaker announces that it's only going to offer electric vehicles in four years, the last thing you’d expect is for it to axe a models that’s on the verge of launching commercially.
Yet this is apparently precisely the case. To understand the move, it helps to look further out on the horizon, into the longer-term future of the Jaguar brand. Last year, the manufacturer barely managed to sell more than 100,000 units worldwide. It takes Ford less than a month to sell that many F-150 pickup trucks.
In fact, Jaguar's entire future needs to be rethought, and that's a major reorganization is afoot within the company coming in the next few years. Frankly, the company is in ‘What have we got to lose?’ mode.
And so, the automaker has no plans to redesign current models like the XF sedan and the F-Pace SUV to convert them to electric power. Rather, it's planning a complete reinvention that will see it introduce all-new model range. Expect a likely reduction in the size of the lineup in the process.
And Jaguar could change the type of motorists it goes after. If it offers SUVs, it will cannibalize Land Rover sales. And if it only offers cars, which apparently so many consumers no longer want...
Quoting people familiar with Thierry Bolloré's plans, Automotive News magazine reported this week that Jaguar would abandon the high-end market dominated by German brands and move up even higher, targeting the true luxury segments populated by brands such as Aston Martin, Bentley and Maserati.
At a press conference held last week, Bolloré said that “we will reposition completely the Jaguar brand”. Clear enough. He also confirmed that this repositioning was the reason why the electric XJ is being abandoned.
Can Jaguar survive by going into battle with the world's leading luxury brands? If anyone knows the answer, let them come forward, because it's impossible to predict.