The Jaguar XE marks the beginning of the end for British made Jaguars, that production has lasted so long within Great Britain is a testimony to Jaguar’s stubbornness and unwillingness to join other car makers in taking advantage of by-passing import taxes in local territories such as China.
However under Indian ownership Jaguar is experiencing growth like never before. The XE is Jaguar’s answer to the BMW 3 Series and will join the Land Rover Discovery and Evoque at the car makers production facility in Changshu. China marks the start of aggressive expansion plans.
Sales of the new XE are expected to start in May 2015 and a new generation XF is expected to follow later on in the year, a Crossover SUV is expected by 2016. All three models will share Jaguar’s new aluminium platform.
Jaguar is predicting to sell around 20k vehicles in China for the year ending 2014, JLR are hoping the XE will become the company’s “bread and butter” car in a way the X-Type never was. Analysts believe these three new models will boost Jaguars global sales to around 200k units.
Jaguar will develop a long wheel base version of the XE for the local Chinese market, buyers are prepared to pay a premium for roomier cars that offer more rear legroom, BMW already offer a stretched version of the 3 Series.
JLR will also open an engine plant in 2015, the company wants to increase global sales of both Jaguar and Land Rover to around 850,000 units per year by 2020.
JLR’s expansion plans are not limited to China, Brazil will be the home to a South American plant and production is expected to start next year with kits imported from the UK and assembled in Brazil.
JLR is also looking to build production facilities in the Middle East and the U.S. Jaguar’s British heritage is being well and truly tested.