In recent years, I have witnessed the arrival of several new models Jaguar, sometimes participating in media events, such as that of the XE sedan and F-PACE. The impression of a rebirth of the brand then hovered, since many strategic errors had affected the image of this manufacturer in the past. Think for example of the S-TYPE sedan, sharing its genes with the Lincoln LS, or the X-TYPE, resulting in a bad Ford Contour.
It must be said that when I was a child, Jaguar evoked wealth and prestige, far beyond BMW or Mercedes-Benz. In fact, I had the impression of a brand which, in the luxury scale, bridged the gap between German cars and Bentleys and Rolls-Royces. Because the elegance of an XJS and the grace of an XJ-12 Sovereign weren’t found at Mercedes-Benz. And probably also, because I knew that the only guy who owned a Jaguar in my neighborhood was immeasurably wealthier than my grandfather, who drove a Cadillac Deville!
Memories of youth
I even remember when I visited the Montreal Auto Show, I saved myself the Jaguar booth for last, because it was the icing on the sundae for me. In 1993, at the age of 16, I spent about 30 minutes contemplating this sublime Jaguar XJ220 spinning on a set, right in the center of the Olympic Stadium. I still have shivers!
Obviously, the automotive industry has changed a lot since then, and you can’t say that Jaguar has done it as spectacularly as the German manufacturers. Because Ford which, at the time, was the majority owner, did not make the necessary efforts, but also because at the end of the 2000s, the brand was squarely on the spot. When the Indian company Tata Motors took over Jaguar, the English emblem experienced a new boom. However, because in the early 2010s, cars were already starting to level off in terms of popularity, it can certainly be said that Jaguar paid the price for the success of Land Rover, the other English brand acquired by Tata Motors, whose popularity soars year after year.
Thus, and despite the arrival of several new products over the past ten years, Jaguar sales have continued to decline, with a short pause following the arrival of the F-PACE utility. A vehicle that would of course change the face of the brand, nevertheless ensuring its survival. Sharing all of its technical elements with the Range Rover Velar, the F-PACE remains Jaguar’s only truly popular product to this day. Because, although the company has since attempted an immersion in the world of luxury compact SUVs with the E-PACE, we can not say that sales are there.
In fact, Jaguar sold in 2020 only 265 E-PACE in the country, while Audi sold almost 6,000 Q3. We can therefore conclude that it has failed, since even in the United States, the sales of this newcomer are symbolic. Thus, of the 2,144 vehicles sold by Jaguar in the country in 2020, 1,445 were F-PACE. An alarming proportion considering that the range has five models, considering the sudden abandonment of the XE and XJ sedans. Then the same goes for our neighbors to the south, where sales barely exceeded 20,000 units. A number of sales which, with a few hundred units close, compares to the figures of 1985. Ouch!
What did we like about the Jaguars of the past?
Certainly not their reliability, you might say! And I second. However, their unique design, the richness of their leathers and woodwork, the roar of the engines, but above all, their unique personality, meant that they were considered vehicles of a class apart.
Unfortunately, we have to admit that we have lost this image and that the exercise of comparison with the competition is now too easy, and far from being to the advantage of Jaguar.
So, is Jaguar doomed to survive in the shadow of Land Rover? Will we one day choose to simply throw in the towel? Or will we roll up our sleeves to restore the image of a brand that deserves our attention? One thing is certain, we will not be able to continue on this road for much longer. For now, Jaguar compares favorably with Alfa Romeo and Maserati, even being on the verge of being overtaken by Genesis.
In closing, although Jaguar launched a formidable electric vehicle in 2019, note that only 64 I-PACE found buyers in the country in 2020. Almost six times less than in 2019. Is it because we ran out of inventory or because its success was only a flash in the pan?
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7116