Cheaper Jaguars on the way
LATEST JAG ON THE PROWL: Jaguar’s F-type is prowling our shores. Wheels24 editor Les Stephenson test-drove the new model in the lowveld. Jaguar will launch new cheaper models in 2015.Image: Jaguar
LONDON, England British luxury automaker Jaguar will launch new affordable models from 2015 in a bid to emulate the success of lower cost luxury vehicles made by its sister company Land Rover.
The new cars will include a compact sedan and crossover SUV.
JAGUAR TO DOWNSCALE
Jaguar, part of the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) group owned by India's Tata, is currently known for two-seater sports cars and large sedans.
It will make an official announcement about the new range at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show in September.
A JLR spokesperson said the automaker would not comment its future product plans at this time.
The cheaper versions of Land Rover's Evoque small SUV and Freelander are currently among JLR's top selling models and analysts said Jaguar's move made sense.
IHS Automotive research director, Christoph Stürmer, said: "It's a logical idea to use the momentum from Land Rover and expand the Jaguar range.
"Jaguar is less than half the size of Land Rover so they need to do something, plus investors will like a move downscale."
Jaguar's new models will bring it into direct competition with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz who dominate the market for entry-level luxury vehicles.
Sales at JLR rose 14% in the first half of 2013 to 210 190 cars, helped by fast-growing China but less than 20% percent of them came from Jaguar.
JLR has roared to health in the four years since Tata bought the group from Ford for R22-billion, helped by the growing demand for luxury cars in emerging markets which has helped JLR buck the trend of plant shutdowns and falling production at many European automakers.
Now Tata are keen to bring Jaguar up to speed too.
The new family of more affordable Jaguars will be built on production lines previously used to make Land Rover vehicles which are currently being modified at JLR's plant in Solihull, central England, one of the sources said.
The new range is likely to be all-aluminium, as used for the recent Jaguar XJ model. JLR signed a deal with a Saudi Arabian firm in 2012 to buy aluminium from one of the world's largest aluminium smelters in the Kingdom.
JLR said earlier this year it planned to invest R414-billion each year for the next four years on new products and production facilities.
MORE FROM JAGUAR
Earlier in July 2013, Wheels24 editor LES STEPHENSON got behind the wheel of Jaguar's F-Type for a blast through the Lowveld.