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Jaguar eyes small car and SUV

Feline style: Jaguar’s AIMS stand was dominated by the sexy F-Type cabriolet.

Wider product range on the cards for Jaguar, including a Cayenne-rivalling SUV

18 Oct 2012

JAGUAR’S global chief of sales has not ruled out expanding the iconic brand’s paw-print to incorporate an SUV and a sub-XF compact model down the track.

Speaking at this morning’s local reveal of the stunning F-Type cabriolet at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, Jaguar Land Rover director of group sales operations Phil Popham told GoAuto the company was in the midst of an ambitious growth phase.

“Over the course of the next five years we (JLR) are going to make about 40 major product actions, including replacing our products and introducing new derivatives,” he said.

While these actions include already-revealed new models such as the F-Type cabriolet (and eventually a coupe) and the new Range Rover, Mr Popham said a broadening of the existing Jaguar portfolio beyond luxury sportscars and premium sedans and wagons was on the cards.

“It’s too early to talk about at the moment, but we are looking around on both brands at the portfolio we produce and looking at where we think we can make money and hopefully even create another sub-segment like we’ve done with Range Rover Evoque,” he said.

 center imageFrom top: Jaguar Land Rover's Phil Popham Range Rover Land Rover Discovery.

“I think there’s capacity to further do that with both brands, which could involve smaller cars as well (as SUVs).” When quizzed on what we could expect from a potential Jaguar SUV, Mr Popham said it would have unique Jaguar styling and ‘DNA’, but could potentially share tough underpinnings with a Land Rover or Range Rover-badged vehicle.

“If we did it, it wouldn’t be based on a Land Rover,” he said.

“(But) we’ve got two very complimentary brands, we’ve got one business and we are splitting assets in terms of platforms and architectures, and you will actually see a lot of shared underbody stuff between Jaguar and Land Rover.

“That’s where you get quality, efficiency and cost-efficiency, but if ever we were to do an SUV or crossover it would have to share Jaguar DNA and have the ‘personality’ of a Jaguar. There’s no way we would engage in badge engineering.” Mr Popham acknowledged the success of Porsche in developing the Cayenne SUV without losing its core ethos.

“Porsche did a fantastic job I think in bringing to market an SUV and then a sedan (the Panamera) that was true to its DNA and its heritage,” he said.

“With Cayenne, Porsche weren’t focused on sustainability and off-road capability, it was about a sporty SUV.

“They did a great job and that’s what we would also do with all our products. Distinct DNA, different DNA between Jaguar and Land Rover – you’ve got to be true to the brand, whatever the product you introduce.” Contrary to speculation, Jaguar did not reveal F-type pricing at AIMS, but Mr Popham told GoAuto it would sit between the Porsche Boxster and 911, which would be about $170,000.

Mr Popham denied this would place it too close to the existing XK cabriolet – which, as we reported yesterday, has received price cuts around $30,000 – telling us that they were two completely different cars, with the two-seat F-Type more dynamic and the XK more of a grand tourer.

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