Is Jaguar already losing faith in the Jaguar XE, the new Jaguar that was supposed to ignite sales and let Jaguar emulate the success of Land Rover?
You might expect, with all the hype about the XE arriving to take on the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C Class and Audi A4, that it would deliver the bulk of Jaguar’s sales in its first full year (2016). But it didn’t.
In fact, it doesn’t seem to be selling much better than the Jaguar X-Type did – Jaguar’s last foray in to the compact executive market – which doesn’t auger well.
Last month (February 2017) Jaguar managed to shift 3,309 XEs, but in the same month it sold 5,323 F-Pace, a car which costs a chunk more to buy. And in the whole of 2016 Jaguar sold 44,096 XEs – just 7,500 more than the sales of the XF.
The lack of sales is no doubt made worse by the lack of variants in the XE range too, with Ian Callum ruling out an XE Estate and Coupe (and by logic a convertible too), models BMW have had so much success with they rebranded them the 4 Series.
Perhaps the disappointing sales of the XE explain why Jaguar is tipping headlong in to its SUV models, taking Land Rover underpinnings and grafting on a Jaguar body and a road-biased setup to bring to the market cars buyers actually seem to want from Jaguar.
The Jaguar F-Pace is already accounting for approaching half Jaguar’s sales, and Jaguar are pushing ahead with a halo F-Pace SVR with the supercharged V8 and up to 550bhp, which is expected to debut in the coming months.
That’s great news for Jaguar’s SUV-loving customers, but why hasn’t Jaguar already delivered an XE SVR with 4WD and over 500bhp to show the Germans and thing or two, and remind Alfa that the Giulia isn’t the only alternative to a 3 Series, C-Class or A4?
We can only conclude that Jaguar is happy to see its traditional sporty saloons relegated to also-rans in both the sales charts and within the company, as the E-Pace arrives to join the F-Pace, and we then wait for the J-Pace to arrive to negate the necessity to bother with a new XJ.