A fascinating interview with Jaguar‘s Adrian Hallmark, that appeared in Automobile Magazine, gave some key insights into Jaguar’s future, and the rapid changes in the auto industry that have taken place in the latter half of the 2000’s.
Hallmark, formerly of the VW Group (where he was posted at Bentley) and Saab, discusses not only Jaguar product plans for the future, but companies that he sees as successful at transitioning from the old market place, where the U.S. was the key market and niche products reigned supreme, to a new model where crossovers and sedans must co-exist and the needs of emerging markets like China have to be met to ensure corporate survival.
The meat and potatoes of Jag’s lineup will remain, but some enticing new additions are set to appear. Look for a new XJ Coupe, featuring a short wheel-base, no B-pillar and unique styling, something that Hallmark says is “much more dynamic and emotional than a Mercedes CL.”
Hallmark would like a small sports car, but claims it wouldn’t be produced in sufficient volumes, so a smaller, more accesible Jag is in the cars – but fear not, as it won’t be a return to the declasse X-Type. “Not many 35-year-olds can afford a long-wheelbase XJ,” he says. “So we’ve got to bring in cars that are more affordable to younger buyers, but believe me we are not looking at the lowest-price BMW 3-series or Audi A4. We’ll have premium products at the very top of each segment we operate in.” Furthermore, Hallmark says that markets like China and India still like sedans more than crossovers, but that doesn’t mean the idea of a Jag SUV is dead. Far from it. Hallmark views Porsche as a model for success, and the way they were able to take advantage of VW’s Touraeg architecture (a concept he elaborates on in-depth) means that Jaguar will likely consult with Land Rover when the time comes.
[Source: Automobile Magazine]