Jaguar to launch mass market range
London, July 23, 2013
British luxury carmaker 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, two sources close to the company said.
The new cars will include a compact saloon and crossover SUV - currently the fastest-growing models in terms of global sales - and be available in the second half of 2015, one of the sources said.
Jaguar, part of the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) group owned by India's Tata Motors, is currently known for two-seater sports cars and large saloons. It will make an official announcement about the new range at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September, the other source said.
A JLR spokesman said the company 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.
"It's a logical idea to use the momentum from Land Rover and expand the Jaguar range," said IHS Automotive research director Christoph Stürmer. "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 Germany's BMW and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz who dominate the market for entry-level luxury vehicles.
Sales at JLR rose 14 per cent in the first half of 2013 to 210,190 cars, helped by fast-growing China - but less than 20 per cent of them came from Jaguar.
JLR has roared to health in the four years since Tata Motors bought the group from Ford for $2.3 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 the Tata bosses are keen to bring Jaguar up to speed too, the sources said.
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 last year signed a deal with a Saudi Arabian firm to buy aluminium from one of the world's largest aluminium smelters in the kingdom.
JLR said earlier this year it planned to invest 2.75 billion pounds ($4.2 billion) each year for the next four years on new products and production facilities. - Reuters
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