Jaguar Design Chief Lays Out Jag’s Future Plans, Confirms Replacement Model For XJ
Jaguar’s highly respected design boss, Ian Callum, took time to chat with Autocar at the Los Angeles Auto Show back in November 2015. During that conversation, Callum let it be known that the luxury saloon is set to be replaced soon, although when that will be remains unclear. What appears certain at this point is that Jag’s new full-sized sedan will continue to carry the company’s luxurious styling characteristics despite calls from management to make the new flagship model a little bit more practical.
In addition to the news about the XJ, Callum also hinted that the company is looking into creating additional model lines to boost its portfolio. That strategy flies against what rivals BMW and Audi have done as they’ve concentrated more on adding new body styles from their existing models. Turns out, Jaguar isn’t too keen on traveling that road out of fear that it becomes to big for its own good. According to Callum, Jaguar Land Rover has no plans of building one million cars a year between the two brands out of fear that diluting the market with Jaguars and Land Rovers would lead to both brands losing their “prestige”. Instead, the company hopes to achieve annual sales of 650,000 units between the two brands once production of the Jaguar XE and F-Pace models reach full capacity across the company’s three factories in the UK. A new factory in Slovakia is also scheduled to open in 2018.
Finally, Callum shot down any rumors of the company bring back the XK. That door has apparently been closed for good. That said, the company is still discussing the possibility of developing a model that would slot below the XE, even though those talks have been preliminary at best.
Continue reading after the jump for the full story.
Why it matters
Some interesting bits are coming out of Jaguar, especially that part about the future of the XJ sedan. It’s interesting because the updated model is only scheduled to go on sale in the spring of 2016 and yet, there’s already talk of a replacement model arriving sooner than later. Granted, the current-generation XJ, despite its updates for 2016, is nearing its last legs.
It’s still too early to predict what we can expect from the replacement model. Callum himself doesn’t seem to be keen on divulging any details other than saying the direction the model is going to take by the time development starts.
The more important news is the direction Jaguar Land Rover, as a whole, plans to take moving forward. It’s been established that the company wants to build up both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands and make them bigger players in their respective markets. Turns out, there’s also a limit to this expansion because the company doesn’t want to follow the same blueprint that rivals like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes are following. JLR is less concerned about quantity than it is about quality. That’s the best way to describe the approach the company is taking. Not that it should matter to those who are skeptical about this strategy because JLR knows that it won’t be able to compete against its well-funded rivals. So, if it’s not going to outnumber the Germans on the road, it might as well play to its strengths and boost its models’ profile by creating more desirable products.
That looks like what Jaguar has in store for us with the replacement for the XJ model. I’d like for more details to be revealed soon, but I can’t blame the company if it’s keeping this one close to its chest at the moment.
Read our full review on the Jaguar XJ here.