The last time Jaguar tried to take on the BMW 3-Series and its compact sport sedan ilk, they used the Ford-derived X-Type and it failed rather miserably. Now they're trying again, and one report says if they fail once more the brand is doomed. Here's why you should take it with a big gulp of salt.
As we have previously reported, Jaguar is working on a new modular, scalable aluminum vehicle architecture that will first underpin a new sport sedan — codenamed X760 — and then likely a wagon version and a crossover SUV similar to the C-X17 Concept pictured above. It could also spawn a hatchback and a coupe later on.
The cars built on this platform are critical to Jaguar's future success. Maybe even so critical, in fact, that the UK's Autocar cites a report claiming the entire brand depends on how well this sedan does.
According to a JLR executive quoted by automotive analysts in a recent Bernstein Research report, the new baby Jaguar project is the brand’s last chance. “This is the only choice as Jaguar is not viable at 60,000 units [per year]. If the X760 fails, it will be probably be the end for the brand.”
That seems overly doom-and-gloom-ish, doesn't it? After all, Jaguar is hardly a brand on the brink of death.
Indian owner Tata has invested considerable amounts of money into the company, as well as its sister Land Rover. They just put a £1.5 billion into Jaguar in the form of a brand new plant in Solihull, England with 1,700 jobs designed to produce these new cars.
Of course, a sports car will never be the bread and butter for a company the way a 3-Series fighting sedan and its variants are expected to be. That X760 will indeed be crucial, as the sedan and wagon aim to more than double current Jaguar sales.
But will it spell the end of Jaguar as we know it if it's not a big hit? I find that just a bit hard to believe considering the brand's current momentum and everything Tata has put into it.