The Jaguar F-Pace crossover stands a good chance of becoming the Leaping Cat brand’s top seller in Australia when it launches in 2016, says the managing director of the company’s Australian arm, Matthew Wiesner.
Furthermore, if the car-like and sporty F-Pace — an obvious rival to the Porsche Macan — cannibalises some sales from Land Rover fare such as the Discovery Sport, so be it. At least the customer is staying within the wider Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) family.
The F-Pace, which makes its world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show next month, will share a large amount of its mechanicals with the hyper-dynamic XE and XF passenger cars, and will be very much road-focused to contrast with Land Rover’s signature, rugged capability.
“You might take it to the snow or roll over sand, but quite frankly that’s its job.. to drive well and do a job we currently don’t have [covered],” Wiesner said.
When asked if it would overtake the just-launched XE and become the company’s top-seller, Wiesner said: “If you look at the way the segment is evolving, projected over the next couple of years, (there’s a) fair chance,” he said.
“Our market, [there’s] such a strong SUV base that we’re working with, lots of intertwining product,” Wiesner added, elaborating that Jaguar had not been delivering mainstream fair relevant in important segments.
"Until recently it was just not there," he said.
“Again, [F-Pace] will be very much a Jag, it’s a driver’s dynamic SUV; if we’re going to lose somebody I’d rather we lose them into one of ours than someone else’s. There’ll be that situation… I’d rather they dive into an F-Pace from Land Rover/Range Rover than want to try a Macan. In that case we win, that's exactly as we should be thinking in terms of retention."
We discussed the wider market with Wiesner, and the fact that SUVs are closing on on conventional passenger cars in terms of outright sales. Might SUVs become the new default car, we asked?
“It’s going to be interesting, how the SUV evolves,” Wiesner said. “What is an SUV? The AWD passenger car, the crossover, is an AWD passenger car an SUV? It’s all blurring, the fragmentation of niche segments popping up everywhere.”