Jaguar will sell only electric vehicles (EVs) from 2025, and yet its first (and thus far only) EV won’t be part of its line-up.
It’ll therefore go to the scrapheap along with the XE, XF, E-Pace and F-Pace, instead of sticking around and being made “better and better” as had been suggested by former JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré. It had previously been expected to stick around in its current guise until around 2027.
It’s unclear when exactly each of these Jaguars will be euthanised, however the clock is ticking for all of them.
“We don’t want the product to be out of the market for too long, particularly the electrified one [I-Pace],” Mr Mardell told Autocar.
“…We’ve got time – we’ve got nine to 12 months – to work through these decisions.”
The first of the brand’s new generation of vehicles, riding a platform called the Jaguar Electric Architecture (JEA), is due in the first half of 2025.
The I-Pace has been produced by contract manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria since its introduction in 2018, and its slinky silhouette was penned under former Jaguar design head Ian Callum.
It has proved a disappointing seller for the British brand, peaking in 2019 with 17,355 sales globally. It has continued to decline since then, with sales dropping to just 7307 units last year.
In Australia, it has been a virtual non-entity. From a height of 155 sales in 2019, Jaguar sold just 23 examples here last year.
The I-Pace was the worst-selling SUV in Australia of all those available in Australian showrooms in 2022, excluding discontinued and just-introduced vehicles. It was outsold even by the Rolls-Royce Cullinan (37 sales).
Despite its unpopularity, Mr Mardell credited the I-Pace with helping the firm develop the new JEA-based models.
Mr Mardell was officially appointed as CEO of JLR this year after having served in an interim capacity since late in 2022, and having previously served as the company’s chief financial officer.
The brand has released only a single, cryptic teaser of one of its new models, though Mr Mardell told Autocar it’s rolling out JEA to allow for “exuberant” proportions.
“The wheelbase on these vehicles and this architecture will be longer. Then you can get the beautiful flows that you need from the vehicle,” he said.
The company has been tight-lipped with details on its planned renaissance, but it has confirmed it will launch a four-door grand tourer in 2025 with a range of around 700km and a starting price in the UK of £100,000 (A$189,000).
It will be followed by two additional vehicles, potentially SUVs.
JLR chief creative officer Gerry McGovern recently made some scathing remarks about Jaguar’s outgoing brand strategy as it pivots to becoming a more exclusive marque.
“What we won’t worry about is being loved by everybody, because that’s the kiss of death,” Gerry McGovern told investors at a conference in remarks reported by Autocar, warning this is a recipe for “mediocrity”.
“That’s what’s put Jaguar where it is today with, which is with no equity whatsoever.”
Jaguar had long been a two-model brand, but in the 2000s it was expanded to include more affordable X-Type and S-Type models, neither of which ended up meeting sales targets.
That didn’t stop Jaguar from having a crack once again at higher-volume segments with XE and XF successors for these models, plus the E-Pace and F-Pace SUVs.
But Jaguar wants to return to a smaller, more prestigious line-up, with McGovern specifically referencing the salad days of the 1990s.
“This brand was incredibly successful in North America 25 years ago before we took the compromises and the decisions we made,” he said.
“A lower-volume, higher-price positioning is absolutely the right position for Jaguar today.
“There has been a [25-year] void in between. So it’s reasonable to assume there’s a lot of work to build that brand equity.”
While under previous CEO Thierry Bolloré, JLR ended development of a new-generation XJ flagship sedan which would have offered electric power, and announced the iconic brand would become a high-end EV-only brand from 2025 with breathtaking designs.
“When Jaguars appear for the first time, they need to have that jaw-dropping moment: ‘Wow, Jesus, what’s that?’” McGovern said.
“I don’t think I’ve had any failures and I didn’t feel like having a failure with Jaguar,” he added.