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Jaguar E-Pace to grow JLR sales next year

Uncharted: Although Land Rover’s newly-launched, new-generation Discovery has only been on sale for two months, it has already recorded double digit month-to-month sales growth which is expected to continue next year.

E-Pace, Velar and Discovery expected to contribute notable sales in 2018 for JLR

Jaguar logo22 Sep 2017

JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) Australia is expected to have its biggest sales year yet in 2018 thanks to the introduction of the new E-Pace premium small SUV, while the first full year of sales of the new Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Velar will also give the company a boost.

Although JLR would not be drawn on exact sales expectations, the sub-$50,000 E-Pace is expected to outpace its mid-$70,000 F-Pace sibling, which has found 964 homes in the first eight months of 2017, averaging about 121 units a month with a peak of 154 in June.

The E-Pace will enter the premium small SUV segment which has grown 10.5 per cent year-on-year to the end of August, and it will compete against the likes of the Audi Q2 and Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1, Mini Countryman and Infiniti Q30 and QX30.

If the E-Pace can manage to surpass its stablemate in sales, Jaguar’s contender could outsell the Audi Q2 – which has sold 1140 units since being introduced in February – as well as the Infinti pair (180) and Mini Countryman (495).

It remains to be seen however, if the E-Pace can catch the segment-leading BMW which has recorded 2698 sales, while the Audi Q3 is on 2222 units and the Mercedes has amassed 2091 new registrations.

JLR Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner said the E-Pace would be a strong seller for the brand, but stopped short of confirming it will be Jaguar’s most popular model.

“I think you’d have to think so given what that segment represents,” he said.

“E-Pace will do some good things for Jaguar but importantly, besides just selling a few more vehicles, what it does is actually broaden our audience for Jaguar.”

Mr Wiesner said the E-Pace will widen Jaguar’s market appeal and, in combination with the F-Pace and XE mid-size sedan, has helped transform the brand from having niche appeal to more mainstream interest.

“Where Jaguar was two, or three, or four years ago versus where it is now – which is obviously assisted by F-Pace, and also to a degree XE and others, bringing a broader audience, more female buyer interest into the space, more relevant products,” he said.

“Four, five, six years ago Jaguar wasn’t so relevant to the broader market because we only had F-Types and XJs and so on – you’re really taking to a small, refined area of the business.

“So E-Pace’s role is far bigger than just selling a few more, it is about telling a far broader audience that Jaguar is now more relevant than it has ever been.”

In addition to the E-Pace, which is scheduled to land in Australian showrooms in the second quarter of 2018, the new-generation Land Rover Discovery was recently launched in July and has seen double digit percentage growth in its first two months on sale.

Range Rover’s new Velar, which went on sale this week, is also expected to contribute as much as 3000 units annually – or 250 sales a month – to the JLR bottom line, while the Jaguar XF Sportbrake due to land in November should add smaller numbers.

Land Rover sales have reached 8478 year to date while Jaguar has amassed 1888 for a combined total of 10,366 to the end of August. JLR Australia is projected to finish the year with about 15,549 sales (Land Rover on 12,717 and Jaguar on 2832).

Mr Wiesner would not comment on whether the 2018 sales year will JLR’s biggest yet, but said the results are expected to be “reasonable”.

“Combined, if markets remain reasonably consistent, than we should have a reasonable year given Discovery will be in its first full year, Velar’s now arriving and E-Pace and (XF) Sportbrake helps, and then we head further into the world of electrification later on,” he said.

In the tail-end of 2018, JLR will also launch its Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV as well as the Land Rover Discovery SVX – both expected to contribute low sales numbers but lift the image of both brands – which Mr Wiesner said is also an important area of growth outside of sales.

“So quite frankly, as we continue to move through this year into next year and beyond, and you see our product range and activity in various segments across the industry has expanded, its constant updates, improvements and changes, and that’s important to make sure we’ve got constant new news,” he said.

“We’re significantly growing … different demographics that are wanting new and interesting things to be involved in, it’s important that we continually offer that up.”

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