Jaguar’s Global Brand Director – Adrian Hallmark – has been pontificating on a new Small Jaguar – a replacement for the Jaguar X-Type
I know. You’ve read headlines here before about a New Small Jaguar. A successor to the rather ill-fated Jaguar X-Type. Which we all know is something Tata will have to address at some point if Jaguar are ever to be more than a niche car maker. And there are signs that is the direction Jaguar are going.
They’ve managed to prove with the Jaguar XF that they can produce a world-beating executive express. They’ve also shown the world that they can produce a luxury car that stands apart from the crowd and pleases in a way no other does with the Jaguar XJ.
Even the Jaguar XK has become the car it promised to be when it was launched on a shoestring with a Halfords aerial and ancient engines. It’s gone on – under Tata’s stewardship – to be a very special car, and a very special supercar in XKR guise; a half-price DBS.
But in some ways, producing cars at the top-end to show you’re a maker of quality cars that are stylish, well made and a driver’s delight is almost the easy bit. The hard bit is parlaying that perception of a quality car maker in to volume. Going downmarket with losing the veneer of upmarket you worked so hard for.
But there are now real signs Jaguar are facing up to that dilemma. We’ve seen the first real evidence that they are going to take the fight to the big volume 5 Series sales with a Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel, which will be revealed soon.
That downpriced XF will come alongside an XF Coupe and an XF Estate; a proper expansion of the XF range. Jaguar are also working on a Small Sports car and the new X-Type, as they told us last year.
We’ve also seen real evidence that Jaguar are working towards their own range of four-pot engines. Which would be an entirely pointless direction if there were no long term plans to produce smaller Jaguars.
But the subject of a new X-Type has come to the fore again this week with Jaguar’s new Global Brand Director, Adrian Hallmark, pontificating once more in public about his vision of the Leaping Cat’s future. This is the second time in as many months Adrian has been talking out loud on Jaguar’s future plans – last time it was his assertion that Jaguar should be making a Crossover/SUV, perhaps the elephant in the room for Jaguar.
And now Adrian has been telling Autoweek that Jaguar is considering “…a Small Sportscar that could be offered as a Sedan”. Which I think is pretty much what Jaguar told us last July. He went on to say that Jaguar are just at the start of the process for the small saloon, so its is probably four years off. Which is exactly what Jaguar told us last year
But what Adrian did say – and it’s good to have it on record and out there – is that:
“”We don’t want to be fighting it out in the fleet business with little engines and small wheels and discounted 25 percent. If we go into the smaller car market, we want to build elegant cars with great technology that give a sense of occasion and position us above that competition–where Jaguar should be.”
Which is the kind of reassurance Jaguar lovers want. They don’t want to see all that hard work rebuilding a quality brand sacrificed in a headlong rush for volume. That’s what Ford tried with the Mondeo in drag. They want to see a proper smaller XF, for that would give a real alternative to the 3 Series, A4 and C Class.
No doubt we will hear more on this subject in the coming months and years from Adrian, Jaguar’s vocal Global Brand Director. We like that Adrian seems outspoken. We like that he seems to be prepared to pontificate openly on Jaguar’s future. We like that he seems to really understand what Jaguar is. In fact, I think we quite like the cut of Adrian Hallmark’s jib.
And we look forward to hearing more from Adrian, who is fast becoming Jaguar’s new, one-man-band PR.Source: Autoweek