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Jaguar XJ production goes into hiatus

Golden days: Jaguar’s XJ large sedan has reached the end of the line in its current guise at the UK factory, with the company set to unveil an all-new – possibly all-electric – generation later this year.

Decade-old Jaguar XJ discontinued at factory ahead of all-new model

30 May 2019

BRITAIN’S Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will end production of its current fourth-generation XJ flagship sedan at its Birmingham factory in July in readiness for a still-secret all-new model that is expected to break cover in the next few months ahead of a 2020 global launch.


While JLR has been making a lot of another of its incoming iconic model replacements – the new-generation Land Rover Defender – it has been quiet on the next Big Cat that is overdue for a major makeover, having been launched almost a decade ago.


GoAuto understands that the Defender and XJ will both be sighted in the flesh in the second half of this year, injecting a dose of excitement into the British company that is fighting back from financial losses and falling sales over the past year.


The XJ badge has been celebrating its golden anniversary, making it an ideal time for JLR to take the large limo to the next level.


The next XJ is rumoured to be an all-electric model, giving it sales traction in major markets such as the United Kingdom and China where internal-combustion engines are fast losing favour, especially in cities such as London and Beijing.


If these reports are correct, the XJ for the first time will miss out on a six-cylinder engine – a staple of the product over five decades – even though JLR unveiled a new inline petrol unit in February.


Designed in-house, the Ingenium 3.0-litre straight six will debut in the Range Rover Sport before being added to the 2020 model-year Range Rover Vogue in Britain in the last quarter of this year and in Australia early in 2020.


The engine has both electric supercharging and twin-scroll turbocharging, along with a 48-volt mild-hybrid starter-generator system to boost performance.


It will come in two states of tune – 265kW/495Nm and 294kW/550Nm – with the latter earmarked for the Range Rover in Australia.


Sales of the XJ have slowed dramatically in Australia, with JLR Australia averaging less than one unit a month this year, putting it well behind the segment leaders, the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, that average ten times that.


The current XJ will get a lift from a special 50th anniversary edition, the XJ50, that will land in Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year.


The next XJ is likely to be revealed at a standalone event rather than the Frankfurt motor show in September to give it the most exposure.


Likewise, the new Defender that has been the subject of an intense pre-launch tease campaign is also likely to appear solo at a launch event with the next couple of months.


Reports from Birmingham suggest JLR is downsizing the workforce at the Castle Bromich plant where the XJ is built, with the company confirming it is offering redundancy to any worker who wants it.


It is likely to be some time before production of the new XJ gets underway, meaning a substantial temporary drop in the work load at the factory that also produces other Jaguar passenger cars, the XE and XF.

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