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What next for Jaguar and Land Rover?

1 year ago

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Writer:

Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder

Date:

20 April 2023

Is JLR really killing off Land Rover? You would think so, given the fuss that’s been made in the press and on social media since yesterday’s announcement. Jaguar Land Rover will henceforth be known as JLR and the group will market cars to customers under four main pillars – Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar. It all means the Land Rover brand, 75 years old this year, seems to be fading into the background.

Or maybe not. JLR representatives have since been moved to clarify the company’s position, confirming the Land Rover nameplate isn’t being abandoned just yet. ‘The iconic name is too well established and revered around the world,’ a spokesperson told driving.co.uk. ‘It remains as a cornerstone of our business.’ We will still see the familiar green oval badge on Defender and Discovery models, and in dealership signage, plus very subtle versions of it on Range Rovers.

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So the Land Rover brand may become a little less prominent as JLR pushes individual model lines instead, but it’s not being shown the door at all. More interesting to us is whether or not the Discovery name is strong and storied enough to become a standalone brand alongside Range Rover, Defender and Jaguar, and how successful the reinvention of the latter as an electric-first upmarket rival to the likes of Bentley is likely to be.

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We now know that a new four-door Jaguar EV will arrive in 2025 with a base price of £100,000, more power than any production Jaguar before it and a range of up to 430 miles. Jaguar has tried for years to muscle in on the mass-market game dominated by the likes of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, but it hasn’t worked. The marque is now being reimagined as a manufacturer of lower-volume, higher-cost luxury cars.

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The forthcoming model is billed as a GT, suggesting it’s being conceived as a direct rival to the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT. We’re told to expect ‘exuberant’ and ‘jaw-dropping’ design, but does the Jaguar brand have the cachet to pull-off a six-figure asking price? Opinions will vary on that, but I happen to think it does. What’s clear is that the cars themselves must look spectacular and drive superbly if the strategy is to stand any chance of success.

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