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Market Insight: Jaguar Land Rover shrinks its range

Simple life: JLR has significantly reduced range choice in models like the Jaguar F-Pace (left) to make buying choice simpler.

JLR slashes its Australian variants from over 140 to about 80, with more to come


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27 Oct 2020

CONSUMERS are driven by choice and lured by the “new, now” principle when shopping that indiscriminately covers everything from ice cream to t-shirts, sunscreen and even to big-buck items such as motor vehicles.


Satisfying choice is achieved by offering a range of products, models, options and accessories. But sometimes it goes too far.


Now Jaguar Land Rover has put the brakes on its breathless range of vehicle models and types, engine combinations, trim and accessory package offerings.


In April, as Covid-19 starting biting into the global economy, Jaguar Land Rover Australia offered seven Jaguar models but listed 54 variations in its price list.


This is without taking into account accessories and options. Land Rover also had seven models but 91 sub-sets.


The model range compared with BMW with 24 models, Audi with 17, Hyundai with 13, Mercedes-Benz with 25 (not including its van and ute range), and Toyota with 21.


Within that, BMW had 92 distinct versions on its price list; Hyundai had 59; Mercedes-Benz had 99; and Toyota had 82 variants, not including commercial derivatives.


Fast forward to September. BMW has 81 distinct variants; Hyundai has 53; Mercedes-Benz has 105; and Toyota has 83.


Now, thanks to a revision of its model range by JLR Australia, there are 41 variants of Jaguar and 71 versions of the Land Rover brand.


But that’s just the start. JLR Australia PR manager James Scrimshaw told GoAuto that the company had taken the step in refining the 2021-model year line-up to make it “easier for our customers to understand and to reduce complexity by offering the very best line-up for each JLR model.”


“Additionally this will mean that our JLR retailers are more likely to have the right vehicle at the right time, due to the reduction of possible variants,” he said.


The new line-up will take JLR’s derivatives from 145 to about 80. The move is in line with the reductions made – though less dramatic – with rival brands.


Mr Scrimshaw said the reduction in some variants reduced the complexity for both Jaguar and Land Rover.


“At the same time we have enhanced the safety and convenience features offered in all Australian delivered vehicles,” he said.


“We have taken this approach to make our vehicle line-ups easier to understand and to ensure we are offering the best specifications possible for the Australian consumer.”


The new line-up of Jaguar reduces the number of F-Pace SUV derivatives to five, down from 17. These include the retirement of the Chequered Flag, Portfolio and R-Spec versions and the replacement with the R-Dynamic trim level.


Its smaller E-Pace sibling is now offered in six different grades – a far cry from the 38 offered when the model arrived Down Under in 2018.


For Jaguar’s XF sedan, the change has been more dramatic – there is one XF model which has been slashed from 12. In the Sportbrake wagon variants, there is a cut from five to one.


The cut has been deeper across the Land Rover brand, which includes the Range Rover subset.


Mr Scrimshaw said Land Rover variants in the Range Rover Velar model will be cut to five from the current 13 (itself down on the 48 grades offered from launch in 2017), while the Range Rover Evoque line up will be slashed so buyers will have a selection of four variants, much easier to pick from given the current list contains 26 versions.


Land Rover badges also affected include the Discovery Sport. Buyers will be able to choose from only five versions, down from the current level of 10.


“Not all 21MY vehicles have been announced at this stage,” Mr Scrimshaw said, indicating more cuts are on the way.


“When we do announce further 21MY updates, we will be taking the approach to refine and enhance the specification available on these models as well.”


Jaguar sales year-to-date September 2020 are down 41.1 per cent in a market that has recorded an average fall of 21.8 per cent.


The hurt areas for Jaguar are its XE and XF sedans, down 44.4 per cent and 39.5 per cent respectively, but even the F-Pace SUV is down 42.9 per cent despite some underlying strength in the national SUV market.


Land Rover is in better shape than its sibling, though there’s still some pain as the brand is off 34.1 per cent year-to-date compared with the same period in 2019.


The worst affected are the Range Rover with a slump YTD of 50 per cent and the Range Rover Velar, down 49.9 per cent.


There is expected sales strengthening through to the end of this year for the new Defender which will be recorded in this month’s figures when they are released in early October.


Land Rover has had no stocks of the Defender for some months as production ended in the UK awaiting the flow of the new model. Demand for the MY21 Defender by other markets has so far kept the model away from Australia.


For 2021, all models in the Jaguar range will be redesigned and/or upgraded. There is also the launch of the mid-size J-Pace SUV but this may be delayed until 2022 for Australia.


Land Rover will launch a face-lifted Discovery, more hybrid versions of the Range Rover models and a redesigned Velar.

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