Jaguar Not Too Keen On Building Any More Station Wagons
British automaker will instead focus on developing more SUVs to complement the F-Paceby Kirby, on
The station wagon segment may always have its place in the auto industry, but one automaker is putting the lid on building up that market anytime soon. The automaker in question here is Jaguar, which is reportedly not entertaining the thought of building station wagon variants for its new sedan models. Design chief Ian Callum made that point known in a recent conversation with Automotive News Europe, explaining the difficulties in launching station wagons in a market that the company believes has reached a point of saturation.
Apparently, building wagons doesn’t make sense anymore from Jag’s business perspective and even if the automaker rolled out station wagon versions of the XF and XJ sedans, it would have a hard time competing in a market like Germany, considered as the largest wagon market in the world. Sure, Jaguar could take that route, but according to Callum, it would immediately be at a tremendous disadvantage against the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, all three of which already have their own respective wagons in the market. It might work if Jag could have a strong foothold in the U.K. market (the second largest market of wagons in the world), but as per IHS Automotive, the British market’s interest in wagons is slowly waning as the demand for SUVs continue to grow.
In Jaguar’s mind, why even bother building wagons when the demand for such cars are shrinking? The most sensible decision to make is to cut ties to the market and focus on one that has more potential in the short and long term. That’s one of the reasons why Jaguar is now shifting its focus on SUVs, as shown by the recent launch of the F-Pace. This new strategy allows the British automaker to channel its resources in a segment that has strong demand in every part of the world. The F-Pace is already out in the market and all signs point to the model immediately shooting up to the top as Jag’s best-selling model. These numbers aren’t lost on the Jag’s management and if recent reports are accurate, the British automaker will soon make room for a smaller SUV to sit below the F-Pace, called the E-Pace.
One thing’s pretty clear though. As Jaguar continues to dive deep into the SUV market, it’s doing so knowing that it’ll leave the station wagons behind.
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Why it matters
I can’t blame Jaguar for taking this approach even though I must admit that I still have a soft spot for those station wagons. Then again, I don’t run a multi-million dollar business that relies greatly on the demands of its consumers. Under different circumstances, the British automaker could’ve made it work. Unfortunately, it’s burdened by the fact that the biggest markets in the world for wagons are either dominated by German automakers or are losing interest in wagons entirely.
So Jaguar is doing what needs to be done. I have to say, it’s nice to see the British automaker take this proactive step. It may have different in any other time, but since the company is aggressively putting its best foot forward, it’s making these decisions with the kind of conviction that we didn’t always get to see from the company. I like it.
Just as important is Jag’s willingness to embrace a new challenge, which, again, we rarely got to see from it. It’s true that the SUV market is getting bigger and to see Jaguar stepping up and essentially saying that it’s willing to be a part of this super competitive market speaks to the kind of direction the automaker has laid out for itself and the lengths it will go to just so it can get there.
So raise a toast for the Jaguar XF Sportbrake. It’s had a good run, but sadly, that run appears to be on its last legs.
Read our full review on the Jaguar XF Sportbrake here.