New Jaguar design chief Julian Thomson has said that the company remains committed to the manufacturing of sports cars and saloons and will not keep its focus on SUVs.
Thomson took over as design boss from Ian Callum and granted Autocar an interview earlier this month during the Frankfurt motor show. He claimed that JLR will not "go full bore into SUVs" and will continue to make cars.
Jaguar has piled heavy investments into the manufacturing of SUVs in recent years due to high demand and strong sales. That saloon sales have been suffering might have had something to do with it but the automakers aren't about to cease or limit production, according to Thomson.
"Cars [non-SUVs] are an important market to us,” he told the publication. “We now have lots of competent SUVs in our showroom but we need to satisfy all customers with different powertrain and body choices.”
Jaguar will replace the XJ with a "more dramatic" electric saloon that will be unveiled next year and go into full-bloom production shortly after, having teased it at the show.
Per Thompson, the XE and XF will also get replacements but could get overhauls of their own too.
“It’s more challenging to do standout products in that market but Jags need to be different and new,” he explained. “The world’s not all turning SUV and we will need cars. I believe that.”
The replacements for the XE and XF won't show up anytime soon and are likely still a few years out but the latter is due an overhaul which will be similar to the one done on the former.
The F-Type will be put on the operating table as well and that will happen in the coming months. Thomson has confirmed that it will continue to be manufactured way into the future.
“With sports cars, you’ve got to have them,” he said. “They’re flag-waving for a premium brand and the dream still exists for people. Whether or not they’ll go electric, the jury is still out.”