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Can big rebates lure Tesla owners into Jaguar’s segment-bending I-Pace?

2019 Jaguar I-Pace First Drive
Ronan Glon

Jaguar aimed the I-Pace, its first series-produced battery-electric car, straight at the Tesla Model X. It’s a quick, luxurious crossover available only with a battery-electric drivetrain, so it’s similar to the X in many ways — at least on paper. Design alone isn’t enough to convince Tesla owners to walk into a Jaguar dealership, so the company is putting cash on the hood.

For a limited time, motorists who can prove there is a Tesla registered in their household — not necessarily in their name — are eligible to receive a $3,000 discount when they purchase an I-Pace. Jaguar isn’t making a lot of noise about the campaign, but several Twitter users pointed it out after it was launched.

There are strings attached, of course. The offer expires on August 31 and it’s limited to one incentive per eligible vehicle. The Tesla doesn’t have to be traded in; the I-Pace can share garage space with it. And, only Tesla owners in the market for a new I-Pace can claim the $3,000 credit. Leasing one works, too, but taking home a used version doesn’t. Finally, the offer no longer stands if the dealer decides not to participate in the conquest campaign.

That much cash off a new car is a sweet deal, but Jaguar’s generosity doesn’t end there. Some buyers are eligible for a $5,000 dealer discount, and a $7,000 allowance credit, bringing the total rebates to $15,000. The segment-bending I-Pace carries a base price of $69,500 before a mandatory $995 destination charge enters the equation, so buyers eligible to claim the full rebate package can drive home in a base model after paying $54,500. Owners eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit can get an I-Pace for Model 3 money.

While electric cars are picking up steam in the United States, Jaguar’s I-Pace seems to have missed the boat. It received good reviews from the automotive press, and Digital Trends crowned it the car of the year in 2018, but sales have fallen well short of expectations. The British firm sold just 1,522 I-Paces in the United States during the first seven months of 2019, according to Green Car Reports. That number pales in comparison to the figures posted by Tesla.

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