Jaguar's rival for the BMW 3 Series could be made in the UK and still remain competitive, according to the company's boss.
The British manufacturer is working on a small saloon to provide a direct rival for the 3 Series – and boost its sales volumes and profits. The need to cut production costs has led to suggestions that it could be built outside of the UK, either in China or India where chassis and engine parts could be shared with Jaguar's parent firm, Tata.
However, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr Ralf Speth has told What Car? that he sees no reason why at least some of the small Jaguar saloons could not be built in Britain.
'I think we could still build that car in the UK,' he said. 'For starters, the 3 Series is not just produced in Germany; it's made all around the world, albeit with different scales. We will never achieve this kind of volume, so our car would still fit very well with the operational footprint in the UK.'
He added, 'We also need to remember that we have not even confirmed this car. We're thinking about it and if we decide that we do want to do a vehicle like this, then predominantly it would be made in the UK.'
Speth also suggested that Jaguar's line-up could include some sort of SUV-esque crossover in the future without troubling Land Rover's traditional customer base.
'The SUVs of Land Rover are really capable off-road vehicles, whereas Jaguars are sporty cars, going in a totally different direction,' Speth said. 'There is not any danger that the two brands are overlapping too much.'
When asked if that approach could allow for a less focused SUV carrying a Jaguar badge, Speth commented, 'In my view that would not be an SUV. It would be a crossover. But even then, that would not necessarily be affecting Land Rover; it would be a totally different animal.'