The upcoming Jaguar XE will launch into a "bloody competitive" segment when it arrives in August, admits the company’s local boss.
Jaguar’s mid-sized luxury sedan will look to hit the ground running as it seeks to take market share away from its well-established and highly competitive German rivals.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the launch of the Land Rover Discovery Sport in Canberra this week, newly appointed managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Australia Matt Wiesner confirmed that the XE will have a big fight on its hands.
“We are probably about to launch our newest Jaguar into the toughest segment in the country,” Wiesner said.
“We haven’t and we won’t until the absolute last minute announce anything to do with pricing or anything, because we are already up to about plan D, and that has nothing to do with us it all has to do with how they are out positioning each other.”
The comments come as Mercedes-Benz managed an extraordinary feat with the C-Class last month, selling a record 918 units and dominating the segment with more than double the sales volume of its rivals the 3 Series (393) and the A4 (395). The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class already leads the segment year to date by 1664 sales after only three months.
Wiesner admits that it will need to feature-pack and sharply price the XE to have a fair fight with its German rivals.
“The value for money in that segment is just outstanding. You look at the product on offer, the specification that is being offered from a base car perspective at those price points - it’s just an outstanding segment of value.”
In regards to the XE’s unique selling point, Jaguar is adamant that it will in some ways take what was once the 3 Series’ uniqueness, being the driver’s car.
“One of the key points that we and the UK are now making about what Jaguar stands for is that Jaguar is very much a driver’s car. XE portrays that in basically every fashion and that’s important.
“It’s probably very much the BMW with 3 Series, that was their space, that’s what they drove 3 Series around and frankly we now have an opportunity to throw a spoiler in there with XE and really get stuck into those that really like to drive a proper sports sedan and that’s what XE is all about.”