Jaguar are reported to be planning two variants of the next generation 2015 XJ, one as a more traditional 3-box saloon. Will that mean the return of the Daimler badge.
The Jaguar XJ has always been an impressive car (well, if you ignore some of the periods of unreliability since it launched in the 1960s) and the last ‘traditional, 3-box XJ was very similar under the skin to the new swoopy coupe version that had transformed the fortunes of the XJ in the luxury car market. It just didn’t sell.
That was changed with the latest XJ which comes with stunning (if, perhaps, slightly divisive styling). but, according to Edmunds, Jaguar are planning to revive a more traditional 3-box version of the XJ when the next generation arrives, not as a replacement for the style of the current XJ but as a companion model. But why would they do that, you may well ask?
It seems that although buyers in the UK, Europe and the US are turned on by the lines of the XJ, the Chinese aren’t. China’s car buyers at this level want to sit in the back and be driven (and the back seat isn’t the best place to be in the XJ with its ‘snug’ feeling) and Jaguar believe they’re missing out on a big opportunity.
So the plan seems to be to build an XJ to tempt China’s luxury car buyers in to an XJ whilst keeping the swoopy coupe style of the next generation intact for Jaguar’s more traditional markets. But won’t that undermine all the good the latest Jaguar’s styling has done for the brand?
It’s hard for Jaguar to ignore the lure of the Chinese market, and it needs to do what it can to be a player there. If that means sticking a box on the back for a proper ‘boot’ and raising the roofline, then that’s probably what they need to do.
But wouldn’t it make sense to differentiate the ‘boxy’ XJ from its slick sibling a little more? Perhaps renaming it the ‘Daimler’ XJ?
Daimler was always Jaguar’s limousine, even when it was just a badge on the back of the old XJ. Wouldn’t a Daimler badge allow Jaguar to produce a more traditional XJ for the Asian markets that demand it, without undermining all the good the new XJ has done for the brand?
Let us know what you think in the comments.