Jaguar to challenge luxury SUVs with F-PACE model in 2016
British car maker Jaguar, known for its sporty sedans, will launch the F-PACE off-roader in 2016, entering the popular luxury sports utility sector in a departure for the 80-year-old brand.
Luxury SUVs have long been built by parent company Jaguar Land Rover, which owns the Range Rover brand, in what has become a popular segment among women and family buyers.
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'The F-PACE is our family sports car,' Ian Callum, Jaguar's director of design said.
Jaguar Land Rover did not disclose pricing for the new SUV.
The company is also launching two diesel-powered Range Rover models in North America in 2016 with new engines promising fuel savings of up to 30 percent compared with gasoline-powered models.
The announcements, made during the Detroit auto show, mark further expansion by the British automaker, which has turned from loss-maker to a major profit-maker since it was bought by India's Tata Motors in 2008.
Jaguar Land Rover is carrying out a broad expansion plan, which includes widening its model range, boosting volumes and expanding production away from Britain.
Still, the company said the new Jaguar model would be built at its Solihull plant in central England, creating 1,300 new jobs.
The fast-growing luxury car segment has been dominated by German brands Audi, BMW and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, but JLR is among those seeking to take a bigger slice of the lucrative market.
The firm, which posted 9 percent growth in global sales in 2014 to over 460,000 vehicles, launched the five-door XE sports sedan in Britain last autumn as part of plans to attract younger and female customers.
'With...the introduction of the new Jaguar XE and the Land Rover Discovery Sport, we anticipate retailing over half a million vehicles for the first time in the company's history,' Group Sales Operations Director Andy Goss said.
The firm said its 2014 global sales grew across all regions led by the China region where volumes rose by 28 percent to just over 122,000 units.