The upcoming Jaguar F-Pace SUV will not take sales away from the Range Rover group when it arrives locally in the middle of 2016, according to Jaguar Land Rover’s Australian boss.
The Jaguar F-Pace is set for a Frankfurt motor show unveiling in September before hitting local showrooms late in the second quarter of next year.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the launch of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Jaguar Land Rover Australia’s managing director, Matt Wiesner, denied the new Jaguar SUV would cannibalise rather than grow the group’s current total SUV sales.
“We need to better understand the role it plays within the range,” Wiesner said.
“We purely look at F-Pace as being a statement it makes around Jaguar and the relevance it creates around Jaguar as being arguably more important than XE, as we suddenly open up Jaguar to a whole new growing market trend that it has never had a foot in.”
Wiesner believes that the buyer group for Jaguar and Range Rover is different enough that there’s enough room for both to exist concurrently.
“All indicators are that there’s certainly plenty of space for us to enter the [SUV segment] with a Jaguar but also with additional Range Rover products as well.
“It creates an opportunity for us to bring people in who would never have considered a Jaguar if we hadn’t been in that premium SUV space. It has to be Jaguar and it has to be a dynamic driver’s SUV.”
The difference between the two will be centred around Jaguar’s ambitions to create a dynamic SUV with performance as its top priority, while Range Rover remains the group leader in terms of capability.
The Jaguar F-Pace might also limit the number of repeat Range Rover Sport buyers from defecting to another brand for something new.
“If you have someone that has come in and bought two or three Range Rover Sports and wants a change, we create that opportunity ourselves to change into rather then have them run off and buy another brand.”
The introduction of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class rival, the Jaguar XE, followed by the F-Pace SUV, will bring far more growth potential for Jaguar in Australia, according to Wiesner.
“As you can see around Jaguar the two things that will happen over the next roughly 14-16 months with XE and then F-Pace, Jaguar becomes very much a relevant premium luxury brand once we roll those two products out. Because we add volume, we add some scale to the business and the importance that adds to the network is vital from a business perspective and a consideration point of view.”
Jaguar currently only competes in four segments with the large XF sedan, the F-Type coupe and convertible, the older and larger XK coupe and convertible, and the S-Class-rivalling XJ. All four offer limited growth potential, with the main volume in the luxury segment offered in SUVs and medium and small vehicles.
In 2014 Jaguar sold just 1167 vehicles, up around five per cent on 2013. In comparison Mercedes-Benz managed 31,895, BMW 22,722 and Audi 19,227. The introductions of XE and F-Pace are likely to see Jaguar’s volume increase substantially in the next 12-24 months.