Jaguar is done chasing Mercedes, BMW, or Audi; but targeting Porsche and Bentley
British luxury car marque Jaguar Land Rover is not anymore chasing the rival luxury car brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Audi. Instead, the Tata Group-owned car brand is now aiming to go after Porsche and Bentley. Earlier this year, Adrian Mardell, CFO of Jaguar Land Rover indicated the strategy, while saying that taking on BMW, Daimler or Audi makes no sense for a company that is a quarter of its size.
To revise the automaker's product strategy it needed a drastic change in planning and action as well, which is what the new CEO of the company Thierry Bollore is adopting. The former Renault boss has put a halt to the JLR's decade-old strategy of pitching Jaguar as a direct rival to the big German luxury trio.
Former JLR CEO Ralf Speth's ambition to sell one million Jaguar and Land Rover cars around the world didn't work. Instead, the automaker landed in massive debt, putting a question mark in front of the brand's future. Now, to turn around from that, with the British automaker's new product strategy that emphasises heavily on electric vehicles with the plan to go fully electric by 2025, it aims at Bentley or Porsche.
In February 2021, the automaker announced that it will scrap the all-electric XJ, which was close to completion. Apart from that it also decided to scrap other projects such as the J-Pace crossover, Land Rover EV that was to be christened as Road Rover. The car brand also ditched an entirely new MLA electric vehicle architecture and switched to the strategy of selling smaller volumes of higher-priced cars.
Under the new strategy, JLR aims to be more exclusive and luxurious. While Land Rover would be able to meet targets when it switches to EVs by 2030, Jaguar has confirmed its move to pure electric vehicles in 2025, which will take the pressure off Land Rover to ditch ICE vehicles until much later.
Despite the strong growth in some regions and the success of the I-Pace EV, Jaguar's sales declined to 102,402 units in 2020, registering a dip of around 37%. On the other hand, BMW's sales dropped only 8.4% in the same period, and it shifted more than 2 million cars. BMW’s high-performance M models alone sold 40% more cars than Jaguar’s entire operation.