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Jaguar North America is launching a new marketing initiative, dubbed the Jaguar ALIVE Driving Experience.
Essentially a national US roadshow that will stop at some 18 cities across the country, it’s designed to provide consumers with an up-close and personal look at the brand, giving them the chance to sample the entire lineup of current models, arrange test drives and even view some iconic cars from Jaguar’s past.
The tour, which kicks off in Phoenix, Arizona on April 12th, is complimentary and allows consumers to explore the limits of Jaguar’s current vehicles, on closed circuit test courses with experienced instructors such as Adam Andretti, Roberto Guerrero and Davy Jones providing expert tuition on safe performance driving techniques.
According to Jaguar North America’s Brand Vice President David Prior, “the Jaguar ALIVE Driving Experience provides consumers with a unique opportunity to fully experience the performance ability of our award-winning model line-up. Coupled with the launch of the ALIVE marketing campaign, we are excited by the opportunity to introduce the Jaguar brand in a refreshed, contemporary way.”
The first seven stops on the Jaguar ALIVE Driving Experience have already been announced, with others to be revealed shortly. To find out which cities are currently scheduled along with additional information on the program, click on the link below.
[Source: Jaguar North America]
With BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi all having local manufacturing facilities within China, JLR is playing catch up and trying join the club. Last year, JLR sold 42,000 cars in China, a pittance when compared to Audi’s 313,000 sold. With the Chinese luxury automotive market still on the rise, the need for localized manufacturing is increasing and will no doubt help to boost JLR’s sales numbers.
The issue that now exists however, is the Chinese government has been less than accommodating lately when it comes to foreign investment in its automotive industry. Fuji Heavy Industries proposed a joint venture also with Chery Automobile to build Subaru’s in China last year, and has still yet to be informed by the government whether or not the venture will get the go ahead.
“It’s hard to second guess whether the JLR deal would get the green light. But one thing is obvious, it’s getting harder and harder for foreign automakers to get joint venture deal in China,” said John Zeng, the director for industry consultancy LMC Automotive Asia Pacific region.
News that Jaguar and Land Rover won’t exhibit at this year’s North American International Auto Show can be taken as a sign of the diminished importance the Detroit show now plays on the global stage.
There’s more to this story, however, as the reason the two luxury brands will be absent is due to a conflicting schedule with the Auto Expo show in New Delhi, India. While India’s importance as an emerging market can’t be downplayed, the decision has less to do with growing economies and more to do with the fact that JLR parent company Tata Motors, is from India.
In addition, JLR has little new to show a western audience, having already revealed the Jaguar C-X16 and Land Rover DC100 concepts, first at the Frankfurt Motor Show and then at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
JLR has confirmed that executives will still be cruising the show floor. After all, the Range Rover Evoque is on the shortlist for the 2012 Truck of the Year.
Some used to say that Southern California was just about the only place in the world where it was truly practical to drive a British sports car.
Lack of rain meant Lord Lucas, the celebrated “Prince of Darkness” (an ailment related to the Lucas-brand electrical systems used on British cars) rarely struck, while the temperate climate almost never required the services of near useless heaters and leaky convertible tops. Additionally, dry conditions and twisty canyon roads just begged for a bit of enthusiastic motoring, an aspect, which when working well, such machines as Jaguar XK-Es and Austin-Healeys were able to deliver in spades.
Today, British sports cars tend to be a lot more reliable and leak free, as well as considerably faster and even better handling than those machines of yore. Nonetheless, So Cal is still considered to be their spiritual home. As a result, if a company like Jaguar is going to unveil a car with a ridiculous beast of an engine and a convertible top, it makes sense to do it at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
As Jaguar’s global brand director, Adrian Hallmark stated, the XKR-S convertible sacrifices none of the performance of its coupe counterpart and indeed, development mules spent hours and hours being flogged around the Nürburgring. Having sampled the regular XKR ragtop and the XKR-S coupe, we can only wonder the sensation 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque can do in an open top car that boasts a rigid, lightweight aluminum architecture, retuned suspension and steering, plus an upgraded Adaptive Dynamics system compared with the standard R.
Jag claims the flagship XKR-S convertible can sprint from rest to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and will go on to an (electronically limited) top speed of 186 mph. That makes it the fastest open top Jaguar ever built and also one of the most exclusive (Jaguar has said it plans to allocate just 25 examples to the US market for 2012). So if you want one as desperately as we do, better try and get your order in as soon as possible (the coupe version is already sold out).
Besides the ragtop XKR-S, Jaguar also chose Los Angeles as the North American debut for the C-X16 concept, which has been making waves since first being revealed back at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Whether or more likely when, a version of this two-seat gas electric hybrid stunner will reach production still remains to be seen, though we probably shouldn’t rule out the possibility of examples sitting in Jaguar showrooms before the second half of this decade begins.
Gallery: Jaguar XKR-S Convertible
Gallery: Jaguar C-X16 Concept
Despite these uncertain economic times, some luxury car makers have made healthy sales gains in recent months, particularly Land Rover. Along with sister company Jaguar, which had been languishing behind somewhat, the JLR group collectively boasted a 26 percent gain in global sales last month.
Much of the increase came from Jaguar, which saw demand rise by a whopping 157 percent in China, Land Rover, by comparison, reported gains of 85 percent in the same market.
In Europe, demand for both brands was up by some 37 percent, largely fueled by strong demand for new Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar XF diesel.
In North America, where Jaguar Land Rover has been struggling recently, September represented a refreshing turn of events, with demand up by some 10 percent, largely aided by the XF, which is proving quite popular with buyers here.
Phil Popham, Group Sales Director for Jaguar Land Rover went on the record stating that  “has been our strongest September since 2007 when the industry was hit hard by the recession. Since that time we have introduced a host of new models and engines that has driven sales growth and attracted new consumers to our brands.”
It’s nice to know there’s at least some bright spots in an era seemingly dominated by much doom and gloom.
And it promises to be the most radical example of the breed yet, according to inside sources within Jaguar Land Rover.
In addition, in terms of styling it’s also believed to look a lot more like the Evoque than the current Mk 3 Range Rover, boasting a steeper windshield angle and more pronounced creases in the flanks, unlike its predecessor, which is loosely based on the 1970 original in terms of design cues.
Codenamed L405, it will also be larger than the current model, but also significantly lighter, thanks to the use of a pressed aluminum unibody structure, which should save almost half a metric tonne (1100 lbs) in weight. The new architecture will also result in a longer wheelbase, by pushing the rear axle back, resulting in improved back seat legroom, enabling the new Rover to rival upscale, long wheelbase luxury sedans.
In addition, interior quality is expected to take a considerable jump, with emphasis placed on rivaling ultra luxury marques like Bentley, rather appropriate considering that the new Rover will cost more than £100,000 (roughly $160,000) when it eventually does go on sale.
In terms of engines, despite other luxury manufacturers downsizing or turbocharging their offerings, the new Range Rover is expected to retain normally aspirated and supercharged gasoline fueled V8s, though in some markets, especially Europe a diesel will be offered. There’s also rumors of V6s making the cut, including a supercharged version, derived from that seen in Jaguar’s CX-16 concept two-seater, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. There’s even talk of a gas/electric hybrid version, though it will be interesting to see if that does indeed, reach fruition.
In terms of getting ready to build the thing, Jaguar Land Rover will invest heavily in re-vamping its Solihull, West Midlands assembly plant, particularly to cope with the demands of manufacturing the unique aluminum structure.
The facility, which will be located in Pune, close to existing Tata operations, will produce modular four-cylinder engines and is said to be a virtual ‘carbon copy’ of the company’s new engine plant being set up in the West Midlands, UK.
Both facilities have been conceived so that Jaguar Land Rover can replace, as quickly as possible the four-cylinder gasoline and turbo diesel engines it currently sources from Ford Motor Company, which have proven to be relatively expensive.
Jaguar says that work on the new Indian plant won’t begin until the West Midlands operation is fully up and running, but said that once operations are in full swing; both plants together will have capacity to produce as many as 500,000 engines per year, which will help satisfy growing demand; particularly in China where Jaguar Land Rover already has a local assembly operation.
As for Jaguar’s other engines, namely it’s V-6 and V-8 gas and diesel units, these will continue to be sourced from Ford at Dagenham, Essex, UK, at least for the time being.
Jaguar has some ambitious plans to work alongside its sibling Land Rover brand. The two brands will be launching major production over the next five years with the goal of boosting Jaguar and Land Rover out of their markets and lifting them firmly into the luxury mainstream.
“We’ll be launching 40 new cars, derivatives and (major) technologies from Jaguar/Land Rover in the next five years,” said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Global Brand Director.
New programs break down into three categories:
- *Products that slot above and below the current Jaguar and Land Rover line-up, as well as those that expand the current line-up’s appeal;
- *Products that can broaden the two brands in markets where they currently don’t have a presence;
- *Technologies that broaden the capabilities of the two brands — possibly including new diesels, hybrids and other advanced propulsion systems.
Hallmark also confirmed the new entry-luxury model that will slip in below the current XF model as well as a higher end crossover, targeting the BMW X5 and Audi Q7. A replacement of the disliked X-Type is essential. Hallmark explained that “That segment is massive.” It is likely that fitting into that sedan segment could become “the most important piece” of Jaguar’s planned product expansion. There is also a strong possibility of a smaller crossover to enter Jaguars lineup, although, “We will not overlap” said Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar and Land Rover CEO.
Electric cars do have a place in Jaguar’s future product portfolio, however company officials were vague on specifics. Speth alluded to pure, battery-powered models “are not the only way to go,” suggesting more conventional hybrids and plug-ins are a more likely focus.
It’s been around in current form since 1983, but the rugged go-anywhere Land Rover Defender can trace its lineage directly back to the first one the company ever built in 1948. Beloved of the British military, farmers, ranchers and explorers the world over, it’s a true icon.
However, there are now rumors circulating that Jaguar Land Rover plans to give the old warrior a serious makeover. No details have been released, or even leaked, though apparently the JLR group is intensively studying what needs to be done before proceeding with development on the ‘next-generation,’ Defender.
Hopefully whatever is decided, the result will stay true to the vehicle’s rugged, practical persona, with short and long wheelbase variants being retained as well as retaining a chassis highly adaptable for different needs (a part of the current model’s enduring appeal).
A concept study is likely to emerge sometime around 2013, with the projected introduction of the actual ‘new’ Defender to follow a couple of years later. In the meantime, if you happen to live outside North America, you can still get your hands on a current Defender and take it places like this.
It’s sometimes hard to believe anything you hear in the news these days. With countries still looking for bailout money (Portugal being the latest) and others struggling to climb out of recession, it would appear that austerity measures are still the norm, rather than the exception.
On the other hand, sales for some luxury goods and services, seem to be on the rise. Take the case of Jaguar Land Rover. On April 6th, the company reported that March 2011 was its best ever sales month with global growth up by some 6 percent over last year.
Much of that increase in demand came, not surprisingly, from China and India, though the UK, North America, parts of Europe and Russia also reported significant gains in vehicle sales.
Naturally Jaguar Land Rover was pleased with the results; Group Sales Operations Director Phil Popham stating that “Despite a challenging business environment, Jaguar Land Rover is flourishing on a global scale with March sales reflecting the confidence consumers have in our brands and products. We have ambitious plans to grow our business and it is clear that there is a strong appetite in the market for exciting new products, powertrains and technologies which will further improve our penetration in key markets and segments.”
Indeed. Although the global sales increase may seem by a fairly small amount; some individual markets, such as Russia for Land Rover and Germany for Jaguar; reported sales gains of almost 50 percent for the month of March. In lean economic times, that’s a sign of strong brand equity.
While nothing is certain at this stage, what’s clear is that Jaguar and Land Rover are two internationally-recognized brands that do not have any manufacturing presence in China, one of the world’s largest markets and a major source of sales for the two brands. Meanwhile, competitors Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW have all found partners in China, leaving parent company Tata Motors alone at the prom.
“The two companies are exploring opportunities for a cooperative effort. Senior executives of Jaguar and Land Rover came over and visited our plant earlier this month,” said the executives. “It’s fair to say that contacts between the two parties have already passed the initial stage, but no final decision has been reached so far.”
After Jaguar and Land Rover lost money during their messy sale to Tata, the Chinese market helped turn them around to the tune of approx. $434 million in profits in the last quarters of 2008. The market was the fastest-growing for the company in 2010, with a staggering increase of 95 percent. With these results, it’s only logical that Jaguar and Land Rover will seek to solidify their growth in the Chinese luxury segment while Great Wall builds mass-produced sedans and trucks.
[Sources: Automotive News, Reuters]
Five consecutive quarters of being “in the black” has paid off for Jaguar Land Rover. The luxury automaker is set to make over a billion pounds in profit ($1.6 billion) after strong sales around the world, especially in Asia.
In the last three months of 2010, the company netted a record profit of $440 million. Just a year ago, in the same quarter, Jaguar Land Rover made “only” $88 million. In America the company announced a 48% and 16% increase in growth for Jaguar and Land Rover, respectively. It’s also been a long time since 2009, when JLR was nearly forced to seek a bailout from the U.K. government. This impressive increase reflects the turnaround that the company has made since it was sold off by Ford to Tata Motors; think Alan Mulally is kicking himself over in Dearborn?
To reflect this growth and keep its momentum, JLR will increase production from 232,000 vehicles a year to over 300,000, as well as hire new engineers around the world.
[Source: The Telegraph]
Ask any auto manufacturer and they will say that one of the most important car markets at the moment is China. With their population and economic growth, China is now one of the largest car markets in the world, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Jaguar/Land Rover opened a flagship store in Beijing last month, and expects to sell 400 vehicles a year from this facility. Another new showroom in the city of Tianjin has also opened doors, and should move about 200 vehicles a year.
In 2010, Jaguar/Land Rover sales doubled in China, with Jaguar moving 2700 vehicles, while Land Rover moved an astonishing 23,500 vehicles, suggesting SUV’s are the preferred mode of transport for the rich.
Earlier this week both the United Kingdom and China signed business deals reported to be worth around 2.6 billion pounds ($4 billion). A part of those deals included arrangements to sell more Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in China.
Jaguar Land Rover, which is currently a unit of the Indian conglomerate Tata Corp, has committed to sell around 40,000 vehicles in the world’s largest auto market, in a deal alone worth 1 billion pounds ($1.53 billion).
The deals were signed after a visit to Britain by China’s vice premier Li Keqiang. Other large deals were also announced following the VP’s visits to Spain and Germany.
The Jaguar Land Rover deal, according to that firm’s CEO Ralf Speth, “not only signals the acceleration of our growth plans but also reflects both the importance of the Chinese market to Jaguar Land Rover and our value to the UK economy.”
Jaguar-Land Rover currently has three manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom, one in Halewood, Liverpool (a former Ford factory) and two in the West Midlands, Castle Bromwich and Solihull.
The current British Government , despite enacting austerity measures to stimulate economic recovery, including major slashes in public spending, hopes that the China deal will help spur growth at home.
With recent confirmation that Jaguar is planning to add new models to its lineup, company CEO Carl-Peter Forster has made clear plans that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will expand in a big way. “Over the next few years we plan to nearly double our vehicle selection,” he said in an interview with Automotive News publication Automobilwoche.
Forster recently joined JLR-owner Tata Motors from General Motors Europe and together with new JLR boss Ralf Speth, the two quickly began to examine his new company for growth strategies. “there were many gaps in the portfolio,” said Speth, “We had to initially consider what the brands should look like and what models we should have.”
The results of this plan are now becoming clear, with news that Jaguar will launch a new X-Type model as a competitor to the 3 Series, as well as a new XE Concept that will eventually evolve into an entry level sports car to compete with the Porsche Boxster. Also confirmed are an XF Wagon and long-wheelbase model for China, while the XF Coupe continues to be just a rumor.
As for the Land Rover line, it will get a new Evoque model (which is expected to be offered in both 2-door and 4-door sizes).
A main goal for the company is the reduction of the weight in its vehicles, which will help improve both performance and fuel economy.
[Source: Automotive News via CNET]
With recent news of several new models joining a the Jaguar lineup, CEO Carl-Peter Forster has shed some new light on the company’s expansion plans – with a little creative interpretation from the folks at AutoExpress. According to a new report, the F-Type will take Jaguar down-market in the sports car segment, competing with the Porsche Boxster. Priced significantly lower than the current XK line, Jaguar could increase sports car sales considerably. The project is already part-way started with Forster admitting that designer Ian Callum has already begun the clay modeling stage.
Equally exciting is renewed ambition for Jaguar to create a new X-Type model – one that doesn’t devalue the brand, but rather works as a proper stepping stone to bring younger buyers into the Jaguar fold. Inspiration for the X-Type could come from the R-D6 concept (above), with coupe-like styling along the lines of the Mercedes CLS.
Also planned is a new wagon model, likely off the XF platform – but that’s not all. At a press conference last week Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) chairman Ralf Speth commented that the XF has been a sales success, but that more models are needed in that family. This might be a clear hint that Jaguar is planning an XF Coupe (and possibly even a convertible). The cars would clearly target the Mercedes E-Class Coupe, which has already attracted enough attention that Infiniti has decided to build a rival M Coupe.
All these new models are thanks to a major investment by parent company Tata Motors, which has decided to put £1 billion into JLR each year for the next five years. And JLR doesn’t seem to be squandering the opportunity, instead using the cash infusion to design, engineer and build more high-volume models that will allow the automaker to become self-sustaining.
With Tata just having announced a return to profitability based on increased demand of its Jaguar Land Rover models, the company is now laying out an ambitious plan for the future. Included in that plan is the production of the Jaguar F-Type – a more driver focused model that will likely compete more readily with the Porsche 911.
The announcement is part of a plan by Tata to invest £1 billion in JLR each year for the next five years. Not only will the cash infusion go towards model development, but also towards innovative technology.
Back in 1998 Jaguar showed an F-Type concept, called the XK180, but it has since been delayed several times due to instability at the company and then a shaky market. Shown above, a future F-Type is unlikely to look anything like this concept, with Jaguar having made a significant style change with models like the XF and new XJ.
In addition to the F-Type, AutoExpress also reports that JLR will add three other models including a new Land Rover, a proper BMW 3 Series rival and even a “executive estate” – likely along the lines of the 5 Series GT and Audi A7.
Jaguar hybrids will begin to roll out starting in 2013, just after the launch of hybrid technology in the Land Rover lineup. According to a report by Car Magazine, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed the XJ and XF models will arrive first starting in late 2013 or early 2014. Jaguar does, however, plan to eventually offer every model with a hybrid option.
Like the Land Rover models, the hybrid Jags will use the company’s upcoming 8-speed automatic transmission and lighter aluminum platforms to deliver even better fuel economy. Jaguar will also look to offer both diesel and gasoline hybrid models, with the diesels set to hit the market first.
Last week JLR unveiled the Range_e, a concept based on the Range Rover Sport, but using a hybrid diesel powertrain. The production model will hit the market in 2013, with testing beginning later this year.
Jaguar, like Land Rover, will also look to bring a range-extended electric vehicle (Chevy Volt-type system) to market by 2015 with 20 miles of emissions free travel at speeds of up to 70 mph.
From the very first moment we laid eyes on the new 2011 Jaguar XJ it was obvious was the British automaker was planning – to take on “mainstream” competitors like Lexus and Mercedes with a more forward-thinking luxury saloon. Why would Jaguar want to build a luxury sedan to rival those other two? Simple: sales.
Until the debut of the 2010 model, it was hard to tell a 10 year old XJ apart from a brand new one – which is as much of an insult as it is a credit to the timelessness of the car’s design. But now the XJ looks like something younger buyers would want, with an appeal that speaks to more than just the old-money type.
According to a report by Automotive News, Jaguar will launch the new XJ next month and is hoping the car will drive up XJ sales by as much as 50 percent. With broader appeal and a fresh new design that shouldn’t be too hard. Jaguar should also be helped out by the improving economic forecast and that fact that last year’s sales were down 21 percent compared to the year before (which is a better representation of normal Jaguar sales). In total, last year Jag moved just 51,885 and the automaker is looking for closer to 75,000 units moving forward.
Along with a new design, the new XJ also has more to offer in order to compete with the likes of the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, et al. Standard XJ models get Jaguar’s new 5.0-liter direct-injection V8 engine, with 385-hp and 380 ft-lbs of torque, while Supercharged versions jump to 470-hp and 424 ft-lbs of torque. The top-level XJ Supersport makes 510hp and 461 ft-lbs of torque from a more potent supercharged 5.0-liter V8, helping it to hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
In the U.S., pricing starts at $72,500 with the high-powered XJL (long wheelbase) Supersport listing at a substantial $115,000.
GALLERY: 2011 Jaguar XJ
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]