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JLR to outsource new model

Pace vehicle: Jaguar’s first SUV, the F-Pace, might not be the last if British reports of a smaller vehicle to be built in Austria are correct.

Jaguar ‘E-Pace’ compact SUV tipped for production in Austria by Magna Steyr

2 Jul 2015

JAGUAR Land Rover has engaged contract vehicle builder Magna Steyr to build cars in Austria, with the English media declaring a small Jaguar SUV to sit under the upcoming Jaguar F-Pace the most likely contender.

The move has been forced by the global success of the Indian-owned company’s Land Rover, Range Rover and Jaguar ranges, with UK factories nearing capacity as it pushes towards 500,000 sales a year by the end of the decade.

Rather than build another plant in England, the company has opted to sign a deal with Magna Steyr to build products in Graz, Austria, possibly at an all-new plant to be built by 2020.

Auto Express reports that a small Jaguar SUV – potentially called E-Pace – has been earmarked for the new venture.

Jaguar is in the throes of launching its first SUV, the mid-sized F-Pace, with a near-production prototype debuting as a support vehicle for Team Sky on one stage of this year’s Tour de France on July 4.

The full production version will be officially launched at this year’s Frankfurt motor show in September ahead of a global rollout in 2016.

The JLR-Magna deal was confirmed by Magna Steyr president Gunther Apfalter who said the arrangement brought a new customer to its Graz plant.

“As always, we will work with our fullest commitment and dedication to ensure that we meet our customer’s high expectations,” he said.

JLR CEO Ralf Speth was quoted as saying the Austrian venture would not be at the expense of the British manufacturing operations.

“The UK remains at the centre of our design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities,” he said. “Partnerships such as this will complement our UK operations and engineering.”

Although Magna Steyr makes parts and sub-assemblies for many manufacturers, JLR says its contract is for full cars.

Magna Steyr has been the go-to company for overflow production for many manufacturers over the years, building the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Aston Martin Rapide, Audi TT and Peugeot RCZ, among others.

Jaguar is reportedly planning to expand its range with a number of niche vehicles as its goes head to head with its mainly German rivals.

The F-Pace is based on the C-X17 concept vehicle shown the at the 2013 Frankfurt show. At 4720mm long, it is bigger than the Range Rover Evoque but smaller than the Range Rover Sport.

Along with the new mid-sized Jaguar XE sedan, the F-Pace is expected to be one of Jaguar’s top-sellers.

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