Jaguar sedans safe despite SUV boom

2019 Jaguar XE

Despite a market that continues to crave crossover SUVs, Jaguar’s underperforming sedans are safe.

Automotive News (subscription required) reported on January 11 that the XE and XF sedans will continue after Jaguar CEO Ralf Speth safeguarded their future.

He said sedans will play an integral part in Jaguar’s electrification strategy and are important to long-term strategies in Europe and China.

Specifically, Speth said as Europe and China implement stricter emissions regulations, sedans are inherently easier to work with due to their superior aerodynamic properties. Taller SUVs are more difficult to squeeze efficiency out of, simply by the nature of their shape.

However, with EV technology, the shape of sedans could also evolve over time away from how we view it today. Rumors have indicated the next XJ sedan could transform into a stately electric car to challenge the Tesla Model S and upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQS.

2019 Jaguar XE

At present, Jaguar sedans aren’t in good shape. Sales of the small XE dropped 21 percent to 28,402 units in the first 11 months of 2018. Sales of the mid-size XF showed a slightly steeper drop; Jaguar sold only 29,563 of the larger sedan, a decrease of 23 percent compared to the previous year.

2019 Jaguar XF

Speth added that although SUVs continue to grow, the brand believes demand is starting to level out. Numerous other auto executives and companies also foresee sedan sales bottoming out around their current levels without much more room to decrease.

Jaguar’s sedans are also key to achieving economies of scale at the automaker and both the XE and XF’s segments remain huge markets. The XE rivals the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class; the XF tackles the 5-Series, A6, and E-Class.

News of the sedan’s staying power comes as Jaguar works to boost sales and profits amid weak results; Jaguar Land Rover as a whole announced it would lay off 4,500 employees worldwide last week.

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