Jaguar, the legendary British and Indian brand, is not having it easy these days. According to the latest results from Jaguar Land Rover, the brand saw sales for the full year of 2022 down 66% from its all-time high in 2018.
According to the information, registrations between January and December 2022 amounted to 61,661 units. This is 28.5% less than in 2021 and 40% less than in 2020, the most difficult year of the pandemic. Worse still, units sold last year accounted for a third of Jaguar vehicles sold in 2018, i.e. 180,833 units.
In fact, these were the lowest results since 2012, when Jaguar had a reduced and uncompetitive product range. By that time, Jaguar had sold nearly 54,000 units.
But how is it possible that a brand offering three relatively modern SUVs, two eye-catching sedans and an all-electric SUV introduced before the EV boom is facing such difficult times?
Let’s find out together, keeping in mind that Jaguar is ready to present a 2025 recovery plan this spring with three new electric SUVs designed to cover the premium and extra luxury segments.
1. Positioning: It is difficult to position Jaguar in the premium/luxury car market. Historically, Jag has been synonymous with big, sleek sedans and beautiful luxury coupes. It placed itself just a notch above high-end German cars, for example. The situation changed when the brand was bought by Ford in 1999. Jaguar expanded its offer thanks to the investment of the Americans: the Jaguar S-Type for the E segment and the Jaguar X-Type (based on a Ford platform) for segment D are examples.
The years under Ford’s reign (1999-2008) changed consumer perception. Jaguar was no longer the luxury brand that produced luxury vehicles. Then came Tata Motors, which injected more resources by launching more sophisticated products.
However, Jaguar found itself in the middle of the premium fight against very strong brands such as mercedes And BMW, which were not its rivals in the past. Jaguar could be the maserati from Italy or Porsche from Germany, in the sense that, by its history, it should position itself between the normal premium brands and the super-luxury brands such as Rolls Royce Or Aston Martin. On the contrary, the current positioning places it in a highly competitive segment.
2.Land Rovers: Although it also sees strong declines (-20% between 2021 and 2022), the sister company has the advantage of being a true SUV brand. It has been producing off-road vehicles since its creation in 1948. As a result, it is the reference within JLR when the group’s consumers are looking for an SUV.
More than helping Jaguar, land rover attracts buyers with its wide range of products. This is especially true when focusing on the Range Rover models, which are positioned as top of the range, just like Jaguar’s SUVs.
3. Lack of new cars: The last time Jaguar unveiled an all-new production car was in March 2018, five years ago, when the I Pace Was launched. That’s a very long time, especially in the premium car sector, where we’re used to seeing new cars arriving from Stuttgart and Munich every six months.
Like with Alfa Romeo and the lack of new cars, the momentum created by a launch must be maintained not with special editions or model year updates, but with more exciting products in line with consumer demands.
4. Luxury objective for 2025: Jaguar’s business performance in recent years is partly linked to a relaunch program which is about to kick off and which will be unveiled in more detail in a few weeks.
The recovery strategy already anticipated last year by former CEO Thierry Bolloré and confirmed by the new interim CEO Adrian Mardell provides for a switch to electric from 2025, with the abandonment of the current range (except may -being the I-Pace) and the presentation of two or three new battery-powered SUVs based on the Panther platform developed with Magna. All with the aim of challenging another British brand like Bentley in the field of luxury.
The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is a specialist in the automotive industry at JATO Dynamics.