JAGUAR is not planning to copy its German luxury competitors with a family of SUVs, instead saying it is content with the single F-Pace it revealed at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show.
Jaguar design boss Ian Callum says there is no hurry to expand the SUV portfolio for the brand, better known for its sports cars and sporty sedans.
“It’s not our priority to create a family of SUVs,” says Callum. “We felt we had to do at least one because the market was there for us to take.
“In our own way, in our Jaguar way, we’re very different from our sister company [Land Rover]. Because we could choose the size and shape and dimensions of the car we were very specific about doing one in its broadest sense. We didn’t set out to say right we’re going to do three SUVs – little one, middle one, big one, like other companies do; we had the chance to do one that fitted.”
At 4731mm long and with a 2874mm wheelbase the F-Pace is similar in size to many seven-seat SUVs, including the Toyota Kluger and Ford Territory. And it’s larger than the Discovery Sport from sister brand Land Rover. Yet despite the extra seating in those models the F-Pace seats only five, with no plans for a seven-seat version.
Despite the SUV hype these days – sales have been growing for more than 15 years and they now make up more than one in three new vehicle sales in Australia - Callum points out that regular passenger cars (including the sleek sedans Jaguar is known for) still account for about 70 per cent of global vehicle sales.
“The saloon/sedan market versus SUVs is still 70/30 [percent], although the proportion is changing,” says Callum. “I think the big question is will it become the norm or will it [SUVs] become the standard? I don’t know the answer.”
Each of the dominant German luxury brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz has at least three SUVs, and all have plans to expand their offerings. Mercedes-Benz has six. Even sports-car specialist Porsche has two SUVs, accounting for one-third of its range.
But Callum points out that Jaguar is a very different luxury car maker, and one with a much smaller footprint than the bigger selling luxury brands.
“One step at a time. We do have other cars to do as well.”
He said the priority in the immediate future was an all-new XJ limousine and working on facelifts of relatively new arrivals, such as the XE and XF.