There’s been a change of emphasis at luxury carmaker Jaguar.
It is to invest the equivalent of 1.77 billion euros in a new range of vehicles
The lightweight aluminium cars and smaller so-called ‘crossover’ sports utility vehicles will be aimed at the mass market.
The launch of more affordable models from 2015 is designed to replicate the success of lower cost luxury vehicles made by its sister company Land Rover.
Both are owned by India’s Tata Motors, with bought them from Ford four years ago.
Jaguar said its plans will create 1,700 new jobs at assembly plants in Britain.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) escaped the cycle of plant shutdowns and falling production at many European automakers by tapping into growing demand for luxury cars in emerging markets.
Crossover for profit
Carmakers around the world are expanding into premium ‘crossover’ vehicles, seeking to tap demand for models that combine the functionality of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) with the comfort and performance of luxury cars.
Nearly one in every four premium vehicles sold last year in Europe was a crossover or SUV, and the category continues to grow, despite concerns about size and fuel consumption, according to UK-based consultancy LMC Automotive.
Jaguar’s new models will compete directly with the likes of Germany’s BMW and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz which dominate the market for entry-level luxury vehicles.
Jaguar said cash would be spent to design systems to help it introduce new one-piece ‘aluminium vehicle architecture’.
The new models will be built on production lines previously used to make Land Rover vehicles at JLR’s plant in Solihull, central England.
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