Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TATA says "No" for Jaguar SUV but "Yes" for XF-Based Roadster

2009 Jaguar XF

COVENTRY : November 10, 2008 - Tata Motors' plans for the revitalized Jaguar brand. As expected, the company plans to continue to move up-market and focus on image and luxury rather than volume essentially the opposite of the business plan under Ford. The best news for Jaguar purists: there will be no SUV for the brand.

Jaguar dealership owners were recently briefed on the brand's future at a meeting with Jaguar executives. According to the owners who later talked with Automotive News, the company is proceeding with the debut of a revised XJ flagship that began under Ford, but no plans are in the works to replace the XJ at the end of its lifecycle. The new XJ is expected to debut in the next 14 months as a 2010 model.

"It picks up from the XF design language and makes a statement for a flagship," Ken Gorin, owner of The Collection in Coral Gables, Florida, and head of the Jaguar dealer council, about the new XJ, told Automotive News.

According to Gorin, dealers have asked about an SUV, but it reportedly doesn't fit with Ratan Tata's plans for the company. What Jaguar will be getting in addition to the new XJ will be new V-8 engines in January 2009 and a coupe and/or roadster version of the XF in 2011. Also coming is a new, lightweight sports car that dealers hope will compete with vehicles including Porsche Boxster, BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK. The new roadster will be priced below the current XK, which starts around $79,000.

"It's a little bit shorter than the current XK -- an XK without a back seat," said Gorin.

Dealers were also told of another luxury car on the drawing boards, but no details were given. The new car will apparently not be a replacement for X-Type, however. Despite being Jaguar's volume car, it hasn't been much of a success worldwide and likely won't be replaced.

[Source: Automotive News Europe ..Sub.Req.]


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