Jaguar to rival Tesla in all-electric luxury car market
How the auto industry reacted to Jaguar Land Rover’s plan to become a net-zero-carbon business
The battle for market share in the electric luxury car sector is revving up after big plans were revealed for British marque Jaguar.
In an announcement on Monday, Jaguar Land Rover confirmed that Jaguar will be “reimagined” as an all-electric luxury brand from 2025. The shift is part of the carmaker's plan to become a net-zero-carbon business by 2039.
Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by Indian group Tata Motors, said Jaguar will lead the way with a complete electric vehicle (EV) range within four years, Sky News reports. Meanwhile, the Land Rover brand will introduce six pure electric variants in the next five years, with the first due in 2024.
The firm is planning to spend £2.5bn a year on new technology and has committed to keep all three of its British plants open in “the drive for all its models to be fully electric by the end of the decade”, Sky added.
Chief executive Thierry Bolloré said: “It’s time to re-imagine the next chapter for both brands... British brands steeped in a rich tapestry of timeless designs. Together, we can design an even more sustainable and positive impact on the world around us.
“We will reposition Jaguar in a different manner. Land Rover is the top of the top; Jaguar would be different.”
On Twitter, Boris Johnson welcomed the news and said it was “a brilliant example of British engineering leading the industry to a cleaner future”.
New era for Jaguar
BBC business correspondent Theo Leggett said it was a “big move” by Jaguar Land Rover, but the “reality is it has little choice” as car companies are under pressure to reduce CO2 emissions and comply with new regulations.
As it “slammed the brakes” on production of diesel and petrol engine cars, the switch to electric heralds the “end of one era” and the “dawn of another” for Jaguar, the London Evening Standard says. By dropping the internal combustion engine from its entire range by 2025, it marks a “turning point in its 100-year history”.
‘High-end competitor to Tesla’
Jaguar Land Rover’s plan will set up Jaguar as a “high-end competitor to Tesla”, says The Daily Telegraph.
Jaguar’s move into the luxury end of the electric market will be “incredibly difficult”, said Jim Holder, editorial director of magazine Autocar.
“If it can pull it off then the prospect of making higher margins on fewer sales should be enough to sustain a brand that in its current form is ailing to the point of struggling to justify its existence. The fact that a significant proportion of its sales last year were electrified shows that the customer base is at least alert to the possibilities of these new technologies.”
Carwow’s Sepi Arani called it a “bold move” by Jaguar but one that “no doubt will prove fruitful as consumers look to reposition brand loyalty against the vastly changing backdrop of continued innovation”.