JLR will slice the XE range from 11 variants to just two, a single 221kW/400Nm engine offered in a pair of trim levels, SE and HSE, while also significantly paring back the number of options.
JLR spokesman James Scrimshaw explained to MOTOR that recent management changes had improved communication with its global parent, allowing the Australian arm a bigger say in the products it offers and the equipment contained in those products.
“We’ve had a change of management at the top end and I’d say that’s had something to do with it,” said Scrimshaw. “The ability to communicate and talk about our product plans and our inputs to be listened to. [The XE] is the first car where we’ve been able to rationalise the range and where we think the sweet spot is. I think people are going to understand what XE means a lot more than they ever did before.”
The new Range Rover Evoque will be next to benefit from the chop, but expect to see similar rationalisation across the Jaguar-Land Rover range as models are replaced or receive mid-life updates. Currently, JLR offers virtually every engine and trim level in Australia, resulting in an incredibly complex structure for potential buyers to decipher.
The Jaguar XF lists 19 variants, the E-Pace has 40 and the Range Rover Velar offers 50 different variants before options are even considered. “One way you can look at it,” said Scrimshaw, “we’re giving the customer everything that we make, we’re not restricting anyone. The confusion was that the Australian market isn’t big enough to offer that complex range of models and engines.”
Dealers will be breathing a sigh of relief at the news. Currently, the odds of a dealer demonstrator being representative of the car a customer wants to actually buy are minute, but JLR expects the new range to be much easier to understand.
“From now on it’s very clear, our model strategy’s really easy to understand and it makes it easy for the dealer network, too,” said Scrimshaw. “The dealer is going to have the right car for the customer; the only thing that may be different is the colour.
Jaguar has had a strong start to 2019 in a challenging market, sales up 38.5 per cent at the end of March 2019 thanks to strong performance from the XE (+19%), E-Pace (+59%) and F-Type (+180%).