Speaking at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, he acknowledged that sales of two-seater sports cars may well not be headline-grabbing, but 'the sports car is still at the heart of the Jaguar brand'.
Frankfurt show on Motor1:
'Sports cars shouldn’t exist. Everyone knows you can’t drive around at those speeds; they’re seen as being a bit indulgent. But, in automotive design terms, the aspiration of a sports car is still there – the dream is still there.
'This flag on the top of every car manufacturer is still incredibly important. It does still represent the ultimate escapist, indulgent dream.'
Indeed, for Jaguar, a successful two-seater is more important than for almost any other non-specialist car firm. 'Sports cars are really what are brand is built on; the experience, the beauty, the driving. It will still remain at the heart of what we do as an aspirational ideal.'
The current F-Type was introduced in 2013, first as a convertible, with the coupe following later. It has recently been facelifted and Jaguar has also introduced a lively new 2-litre four-cylinder turbo version, lowering the entry-level price to under £50,000.
Despite the allure of sports cars, they remain a sector in something of a decline. Last year, just over 560,000 sports cars of all types were sold globally, according to JATO Dynamics. This was a 1.1 percent fall over 2015. The best-seller was the Ford Mustang, and the biggest winner was the Mazda MX-5.
SUV sales, in contrast, continue to boom: at over 24.3 million cars, annual growth hit 20 percent, with 2017 showing no signs of the year-on-year growth slowing down. Jaguar already sells the F-Pace SUV, the reigning World Car of the Year, and at Frankfurt showed its new E-Pace compact SUV in public for the first time.
But while both models will easily outsell the F-Type, it seems neither is likely to usurp the Jag sports car’s role as the pinnacle Jaguar any time soon…