Next XJ culled as new CEO reveals ambitious new 'Reimagine' strategy for Jaguar and Land Rover
By Nic Cackett / Monday, February 15, 2021 / Loading comments
Jaguar is set to become an electric-only luxury brand from 2025 onwards as part of a sweeping new global strategy aimed at remaking the manufacturer, under the leadership of Thierry Bolloré.
Dubbed 'Reimagine', the plan aims to produce the 'world's most desirable luxury vehicles' as JLR restructures itself around the multiple challenges of electrification. Alongside Jaguar's more immediate transformation, the firm expects every Land Rover to be available as an EV by the end of the decade.
In the next five years, Bolloré confirmed that Land Rover will introduce six all-electric variants in the Range Rover, Discovery and Defender model line-ups, with the first to launch in 2024. This was predictable enough; Jaguar's 'renaissance' as an EV-only carmaker was not – especially when the long planned XJ replacement has been culled as part of the shakeup.
Bolloré described his new employer as being, 'human-sized among giants' – a tacit admission of JLR's scale when compared with its German rivals, but also crucial to a proposal that will seek to prioritise quality and profit over volume.
To help it do that, the company will aim to better distinguish between its two brands. Bolloré confirmed three platforms: MLA (Modular Longitudinal Architecture) and EMA (Electric Modular Architecture) for Land Rover, as well as a future BEV structure for Jaguar. The latter implies an exclusive identity for the brand that will plainly steer it away from the current trend for homogenisation.
For now, the precise nature of that identity has not been elucidated. Bolloré would not be drawn on the future of its sports car lineup – he implied the firm's designers would 'completely free to propose what we do' in terms of incoming product – although confirmation that SVR would survive into the electric age suggests that Jaguar will not lose its preoccupation with performance.
Its previous preoccupation with premium-brand scale, as evidenced by the costly development of the XE and XF, is apparently at an end. Becoming 'one of the most profitable luxury manufacturers in the world' is now JLR's game plan – an ambition which apparently encompasses hydrogen fuel cell technology – along with the journey towards becoming a net zero carbon business by 2039.
For now, the existing global manufacturing and assembly footprint will be retained, though it will be 'rightsized, repurposed and reorganised' – which offers JLR plenty of freedom down the road. It claims that by consolidating the number of platforms and models being produced per plant, the manufacturer will be able to establish new benchmark standards in efficiency and quality. Solihull was earmarked for the production of Jaguar's future platform.
Bolloré was keen to stress agility elsewhere. He said: "We have so many ingredients from within. It is a unique opportunity. Others have to rely solely on external partnerships and compromise, but we have frictionless access that will allow us to lean forward with confidence and at speed."
He concluded: "As a human-centred company, we can, and will, move much faster and with clear purpose of not just reimagining modern luxury but defining it for two distinct brands. Brands that present emotionally unique designs, pieces of art if you like, but all with connected technologies and responsible materials that collectively set new standards in ownership. We are reimagining a new modern luxury by design."
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