My Car Quest

September 24, 2021

Editorial: Jaguar’s Big Gamble

by Wallace Wyss –

In an earlier article, Editor, Mike Gulett, talked about Jaguar taking a chance by going electric by 2025.

But after my friend (and radio colleague on Autotalk, Bob Saber) a radio show emanating from KUCR FM sent me a copy of a speech by Jaguar’s new boss I became alarmed, realizing the calibre of the disaster looming. Thierry Bolloré gave a 25 minute televised presentation which Bob characterized as “mumbo-jumbo” as typified by his phrase “Reimagine”.

Bob Saber castigated Bolloré’s cancellation of the XJ EV at the eve of it going into production. Why? Because it would have required the use of an “old “platform when he wants to have all Jag’s car models all be based on one platform. Technically it makes sense, they could just shorten it for one model and lengthen it for another. And don’t you say you can’t make a sports car out of a four seater, look at the incredibly sexy Bizzarrini GT 5300 made out of the Iso four seat Rivolta chassis.

But Bob, who worked for GM, says Bolloré “seems more interested in achieving the niceties of a compact production setup than plunging Jaguar, with some added good armament, back into the competition for automobile sales.”

Think of how many years and how many millions were poured into Ian Callum’s final Jag design, the XJ, (before he retired) only to have it cancelled. It could have been Jaguar’s second model EV, above the I-Pace, in the fast-developing electric transportation world.

But Bolloré is telling the world that everyone should like his one platform plan and a few years from now they can evolve other models that fit his slogan “Modern Luxury via Reimagination.” What a load of balderdash!

Where did this clown come from? Bob says he made an exceptionally positive impression on Tata CEO Natarajan Chandrasekaran, who soon afterward named Bolloré the winner of the Jaguar job. True, he was one of Carlos Ghosn’s lieutenants for years, and though Ghosn got into financial trouble, Bolloré managed to run the ship when Ghosn was put in jail in Japan (smuggled out of Japan in a box, but that’s another story). Bolloré was dismissed by the Nissan Board soon after he tried to defend Ghosn in Board proceedings.

The point is that Jaguar declared its goal is to be an automaker 100% in the electric car field after the year 2025, but to put all their eggs in one basket with variations on one chassis makes this decision more dicey. The consumers will forget about Jaguar if this new initial design is rejected by them. And Jaguar will have no alternatives to offer. What will they do–put up signs in the showrooms that say “Come back in 2028?” No the dealers will die off.

The best thing that could happen is for someone like Elon Musk to buy up Jaguar with his spare coffee money and proliferate models with different platforms including a sports car. It is too bad that Jaguar has a leader with such a limited view of what he’s been handed–a brand that has built up a great legacy of luxury and performance for a price lower than Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce. But he’s throwing it all out to show how efficient he is.

Well, la de da, he’s killing the firm by putting all his eggs in one basket. If he’s wrong, cross off another British automaker.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is co-host of Autotalk, a weekly radio show on cars emanating from KUCR-FM Riverside.

 
 
 

 

 

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Editorial: Jaguar's Big Gamble
Article Name
Editorial: Jaguar's Big Gamble
Description
Jaguar declared its goal is to be an automaker 100% in the electric car field after the year 2025, but to put all their eggs in one basket with variations on one chassis makes this decision more dicey.
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Comments

  1. From an economy of scale utilizing one platform lengthening and shortening as the project demands sounds great, I understand the argument, but for large companies like Jaguar with a rich history of design locking yourself into one platform will limit the number of different vehicles that can be produced effectively blanding the brand… a real shame, but then more and more it would seem that manufacturers are looking to have a vanilla palate… I completely get that developing new cars is very expensive, but then so are Jaguars.

  2. Nisk Geraci says

    Great article! It’s a shame Jaguar may continue in spite of this poor decision. I fear the proletariat has bought in to this electric car nonsense..

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