After suffering significantly in the recent recession, Jaguar Land Rover, like a lot of automakers, learned a few lessons and intends to put into practice a new product strategy that would help protect the company in the future.
While it’s not official, judging from JLR’s moves so far, the three key aspects of the new plan are to introduce high-volume models, further down-market, while sharing R&D costs.
According to Jaguar Land Rover spokesman Stuart Schorr, this would include, “expansion of our portfolio from the current eight models over the next five years, including at least two new models, as well as a number of new body styles and a broader range of engines and technologies.”
The Range Rover Evoque is the first of two certain models, while Schorr indicates that a roadster model (smaller than the XK) is a likely possibility for the next vehicle.
While far from committal, Schorr does admit that rumored additions to the Jaguar range include an XF wagon, an entry-level sports sedan and a crossover.
A Jaguar crossover, based on the new Range Rover Evoque platform, would meet all of the requirements for Jag’s strategy; being a high-volume entry-level model that would be easy to engineer, using the same platform and 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. Such a model (with AWD) would also help grow the Jaguar brand in key areas, like the Northern U.S. and in emerging markets where poor roads are a way of life.
As you can see from our rendering, the new Evoque chassis can be made to work quite nicely with Jaguar’s design characteristics.
According to recent reports, execs at Jaguar Land Rover are still debating the project and the one hang-up would be the product similarity with Land Rover.
Even if it does go ahead, don’t expect to see anything immediately, with the Jaguar roadster likely to arrive next. A BMW 3 Series rival would seem like the obvious next model, but given how easy development of a Jaguar crossover would be, JLR may look to the soft-roaders soon.