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Jaguar wants to stay exclusive while rapidly growing model lines

2016 Jaguar XJ
2016 Jaguar XJ
Jaguar’s head of design, Ian Callum, has stated that the XJ will be replaced and the British automaker is planning to build out its model range soon, according to Autocar.

“The reality is a capacity issue. It’s the biggest restraint,” he said.

Jaguar/Land Rover’s annual sales will hit capacity of around 650,000 units across its three UK factories as soon as the newly-revealed XE sedan and F-Pace crossover hit their production stride. JLR also plans to add a new factory in Slovakia in 2018.

“JLR doesn’t want to be BMW or Audi in size,” Callum said. “Chasing volume relentlessly is a problem. We don’t have aspirations for more than a million a year between us. You can lose prestige.”

Porsche and Ferrari have expressed similar concerns about maintaining exclusivity, albeit in even smaller numbers. Though that may be the brand’s present sentiment, surely BMW and other German luxury manufacturers had similar thoughts at one point. While Jaguar/Land Rover has been around a while, only after Tata took ownership and reliability issues were shored up did the brands really hit sales milestones. Opinions about scale could change over time.

Callum said Jaguar doesn’t wish to build multiple bodystyles of the same car (as BMW tends to do) but will instead add a variety of model lines. “We’d like to do more volume of the cars we’ve got. That’s where growth will come from: additional lines.”

Beyond mentioning that the XJ would be replaced in the not-too-distant future, Callum noted that his team was “continuously talking about a smaller Jaguar,” though there aren’t any current production plans for a sub-XE.

The XJ’s design still has a place in Callum’s heart, though. “People think it’s brand new if they haven’t seen it before.” Apparently the automaker wants to make the successor more practical, but Callum asserted that style is equally important.

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