What is happening at Jaguar? With the new CEO, Thierry Bolloré at the helm, it seems the historic British brand is losing its identity in the quest to find buyers and accelerate the adoption of electrification. Now, shortly after Jaguar announced that it had pulled the plug on the XJ electric saloon that it had worked on for a few years, it looks like there’s a big question mark looming over any future sports car.
Top Gear asked the new Jaguar-Land Rover boss, who in the past worked for Michelin, Faurecia and later Renault where he was briefly the CEO, about the future of Jaguar sports cars. His response should alarm those who love Jaguar sports cars (new and old) because he basically said the company is considering stopping making sports cars altogether.
His exact words were regarding the future of the automaker’s lineup, once it begins electrification of all its models (which will all be underpinned by a single modular platform),
Is going to be more compact compared to the one we have today.
Regarding the possibility of building sports cars in the future, Bolloré said
It’s a question that we are looking at very carefully. I’m not going to answer that right now because it’s a question of importance for us, and we will answer when we have decided exactly what we want to do with this new portfolio of Jaguar.
What Bolloré has not putting emphasis on is that Jaguar is a brand that has been making sports sedans and sports cars for almost a century (it was founded in 1934 as SS Cars). And the funny thing about all of this is the brand’s only current sports car, the F-Type, is an undeniable success, especially given the shrinking global market for pure sports cars - the F-Type is arguably the most desirable Jaguar you can buy right now and it proves this is what the company is good at.
If Jaguar is turned into just another manufacturer of electric crossovers, with a complete disregard to what it used to make, it will most likely be the final nail in its coffin. And while we understand why Bolloré is so careful with the brand’s revamp (Jaguar isn’t selling anywhere near as many cars as it would like), killing off its historic, bread and butter models and replacing them with generic crossovers is not the answer.