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The rise and rise of Jaguar

By raccars Published

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How has Jaguar gone from niche brand to the mainstream premium brand that everyone wants?

Jaguar is the name on everyone's lips at the moment. Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the brand enjoyed record sales in the first quarter of 2016. Last month alone Jaguar sold 5,655 cars; that's one car sale every eight minutes and up 45 per cent compared to the same month last year, Jaguar's best month in the last decade. Over the quarter, sales were up by 76 per cent.

Admittedly sales at Jaguar are following an industry-wide trend, with the last quarter the most successful ever for new car sales in the UK, but with the imminent arrival of the much awaited F-Pace SUV, the car maker looks set to go from strength to strength.

Jaguar She-Type

Jaguar has already taken more than 25,000 pre-orders of the F-Pace, which makes it the fastest-selling Jaguar of all time - before it has even been released. Chief execs at the firm have had to do some juggling in order to ensure that Jaguar's production lines can keep up with demand for the SUV. And what's noticeable is that women make up a third of buyers - that's twice the usual proportion of female buyers for a Jaguar, with the result that the F-Pace has been given the nickname of the 'She-Type'.

All about the F-Pace

The F-Pace marks an exciting new direction for Jaguar, and its determination to join the burgeoning SUV sector demonstrates how creative the brand is prepared to be to enjoy mainstream premium brand status. In the face of initial scepticism, the F-Pace has impressed the automotive press from the beginning, and early test drive reports are just as promising.

It genuinely does promise the performance and attitude of a sports car but is as practical and user friendly as an SUV - and it looks good too. While it's pretty urban looking, the F-Pace can apparently also cope with the rough stuff and has proven itself sure footed away from the tarmac. It's packed with family friendly features such as a powered tailgate and a waterproof, shockproof 'activity key', plus autonomous parking and integrated Wi-Fi connectivity.

So great are expectations for the F-Pace that Jaguar is already developing two further SUVs; a more compact version of the F-Pace and an all new, all electric model to take on the likes of the Tesla Model X.

However it's not all about the F-Pace, as Jaguar's existing model line-up also performed well in the first quarter of the year, particularly the XE and XF saloons.

Creative minds at work

The firm's current success demonstrates the potential rewards available to those prepared to take a risk. There's some real corporate creativity behind some of the brand's most interesting projects, which at the moment include not only diverging from its traditional luxury sports cars and saloons into the SUV sector, but also reviving its heritage by rebuilding old models such as the E-Type.

Jaguar is scouring crumbling barns for old chassis it can bring back to life and sell at a huge profit. It's unusual in an industry addicted to the new and original, but it's sure to attract customers. Other ideas include the SVO or Special Vehicle Operations division, making stunning special editions of the brand's cars in the style of AMG and Mercedes.

Jaguar has also launched a new venture called InMotion to create apps and other solutions to the problems of modern transport, which is also embarking upon a trial of a car sharing idea in North America, Europe and Asia.

By all accounts there's plenty more to come.

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