09 November 2013

Why Jaguar should make an SUV

Why it's right for Jaguar to make an SUV. Luke McCormack explains... 



WHEN Jaguar unveiled plans on making their first ever Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), it has been greeted with a mixed reaction. Understandably, traditional Jag fans were quick to be repulsed by the thought of one, nevermind seeing a picture of one.

But the thing is, sales of SUVs are booming and there's a healthy market for them. Volvo, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus and Porsche all have SUVs in their line up. But what do the SUVs from Jaguar's rivals all have in common? They sell like hotcakes.

For example, the Cayenne accounts for the majority of cars Porsche sell each year. Back when they unveiled the plan of making an SUV, putting into production and on sale.

It was a controversial move. Many were quick to slam Porsche because they traditionally make sports cars - not SUVs. But as hateful a car the Cayenne is to some people, it's also an important one for Porsche. The XC90 was also a goose that laid the golden egg for Volvo.

What Jaguar is doing, is similar to what to Porsche did with expanding their line up of cars. Not everyone will like their new SUV. No doubt there will be those who will hate it like most SUVs.

But Jaguar need to be keeping with the times, following and catering consumer trends. That's where they can boost sales and increase profits. They can't rely on just selling their saloons and sports cars - even if they sell in the big numbers. In a nutshell, an SUV from the Big Cat will be the right car for the right time.

Of course, some may be concerned that it could create some internal rivalry within the Jaguar Land Rover stable. Because the people that will potentially buy a Jaguar SUV, will probably be the same people who buy a Range Rover.

You know the sort: footballers, WAGs, celebrities, property developers, members of the Royal Family and (possibly) drug dealers. They're affluent people, who can afford to have a few flash and expensive motors in their garage. There will also be a market for them in Dubai and China. Which is where JLR are also thriving.

Even if some trade in their Range Rover for a big, lofty Jag, then JLR are going to benefit from a customer keeping it in the family - if you get what I mean there. They're not losing out. They'd be losing out if they traded in their Range Rover for a Porsche Cayenne, a BMW X5 or an Audi Q7.

Jaguar can potentially reap in the benefits from having one in their line up. It's success depends on how good the car is itself - I'm confident it will be anyway. Not only will it be good for the company, but also the British motor industry. That can create more jobs, as well as secure a future for Jaguar's employees. That can only be a good thing right?

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