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Jaguar E-Pace to spur F-Pace sales

Pacemaker: Jaguar’s new E-Pace small SUV is tipped to usurp its F-Pace sibling as the best-selling model for the British premium car-maker.

Sub-$50K E-Pace could get F-Pace buyers inside Jaguar showrooms

Jaguar logo14 Aug 2017

JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner has admitted the F-Pace SUV is under-performing despite becoming the brand’s top seller, but he believed the arrival of the smaller E-Pace will boost sales of both high-riding SUVs.

Since its launch mid-last year the F-Pace medium SUV has quickly replaced the XE medium sedan as Jaguar’s best-selling vehicle, with the respective models moving 826 and 1524 units in 2016, but 880 and 571 units year-to-date to the end of July 2017 – the latter a 44.3 per cent plummet within the BMW 3 Series segment.

However, speaking with GoAuto at the national media reveal of the Range Rover Velar in Sydney this week, Mr Wiesner said even more will be expected from the F-Pace when the E-Pace small SUV arrives locally in the second quarter of 2018.

“I think what will actually continue to help F-Pace, which is a similar space obviously to Velar, will be what the effect of E-Pace is when we launch E-Pace in the new year,” he said.

“Is Jaguar being more relevant because of F-Pace? Absolutely. Could we do better? I think so. (E-Pace is) about again broadening Jaguar’s appeal and relevance to another level.

“That (E-Pace) I think will actually then help F-Pace because then we’ve got more of a discussion going, we’ve got more people around Jaguar the brand full stop. Obviously we’ll see a kick from E-Pace, but I think we’ll see a lift on F-Pace.”

Mr Wiesner said that although JLR Australia was in a fortunate position to launch a vast number of new SUV models at a time when the high-riding wagon segment continues to boom, Jaguar in particular needed to “perform better in a market where we still see the sedan business just dwindling away.”

Not only is the XE mid-size sedan in freefall, but the XF large sedan has plummeted 51.1 per cent year-to-date to July 2017, to just 137 sales.

Mr Wiesner said that while it was no fault of the vehicles themselves, the choice of new SUV models from premium brands – and not just the trend away from passenger cars – was tempting buyers away from sedans.

“You can understand (the drop in sedan sales) when we roll out F-Paces and Velars and when you look at some of the German equivalents of (Porsche) Macans and so forth, you know there’s some magnificent SUV options,” he said.

“(Now with E-Pace) we have a gorgeous, smaller SUV, which hopefully will have a similar, you know, (Range Rover) Evoque effect when we did Evoque a few years ago.

“Come in from an entry point of view, below a $50,000 price point, then what is the effect that it then has on the broader Jaguar space by bringing the brand itself into a broader space in regards to appeal and relevance.”

As previously reported, the BMW X1-rivalling E-Pace measures 4395mm long and packs a 577-litre boot volume, and will arrive with three diesel and two petrol versions of the company’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium engine, tied only to a nine-speed ZF automatic transmission.

Both front- and all-wheel drive is available, with outputs ranging from the diesel’s 110kW/380Nm (singularly available in front-drive), 132kW/430Nm or 177kW/500Nm and the petrol’s 183kW/365Nm or 221kW/400Nm.

Although Mr Wiesner did not talk about sales expectations for the E-Pace, its sub-$50,000 starting price will place additional pressure on the XE, which is currently Jaguar’s most affordable vehicle priced at $60,400 plus on-road costs.

The F-Pace medium SUV starts from $74,860 – leaving a $25K-plus space for the brand’s new small SUV to occupy.

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