The first-ever SUV from Jaguar is also expected to be its best-selling model, meeting global and local demand for such vehicles that is likely to soon outstrip standard passenger cars.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the F-Pace in Byron Bay last week, Jaguar Land Rover Australia CEO, Matt Wiesner, said the local operation would welcome additional SUVs from Jaguar.
“We would love to have a smaller or a bigger one,” Wiesner said.
Speaking of the potential for additional SUVs, Wiesner hinted that in order for Jaguar to stay relevant, it’s almost an inevitability.
“You look at the global trends and what is going on in the market place - we are in the business to grow and make money, and we are about making cars that people want to buy. We have to be ahead of those trends and understand where they are going.”
The Jaguar F-Pace, which was styled by world-famous car designer Ian Callum, was a project that started four years ago when the British brand had begun the process of recreating its identity starting with the F-Type.
Now that it's here, Wiesner says it has answered a lot of questions.
“Finally, here is the answer to the questions [of a Jaguar SUV] and what he’s done is design an SUV that behaves very much like a performance sedan. [He has] kept it in line with what Jaguar stands for, and Jaguar’s DNA.”
With the F-Pace expected to achieve sales numbers similar to the Range Rover Evoque (2300-2500 per year), Jaguar’s marketing strategy in getting potential buyers to see the brand as a maker of SUVs has already started.
“We are already seeing that [perception change] happening. We started our pre-launch activities four months ago and followed into various programs in Westfield and Vivid [Sydney festival] to create that appeal and awareness that Jaguar now has a pretty cool offering in that space," he said.
"And the amount of interest that has been building through what we’ve been doing, let alone what the dealers have done, has been fantastic. These are people that would have never considered a Jaguar in the past - and there’s probably a good number of them that would’ve never considered a Land Rover or Range Rover product before, either.”
As for whether or not Jaguar can now offer the same 'full product experience' as its German rivals, from dealership to ownership and beyond, is an area where Wiesner is exerting the company’s expertise and resources.
“That’s exactly what we are spending a lot of time and investment on at the moment. When we launched XE last year, we had about 21-22 dealers in the network, and we are now mid-30s.
"By early next year, basically everyone will be a Jaguar and Land Rover dealer, so we will have about 45 dealers. Our ability to reach becomes better, so we can develop what this [F-Pace] means to a broader audience - and that’s what will deliver our success.”
We suspect future SUVs from Jaguar will be at least 18-24 months away, however engineering and design work has most likely already started on such projects.