Jaguar plots 3 Series rival and more

  • BMW 3 Series rival a priority
  • Looking at 1 Series rival, too
  • New cars in second half of this decade
More from the Paris Motor Show 2012
More from the Paris Motor Show 2012
Jaguar plans to expand its range with smaller, cheaper models, including a rival for the BMW 3 Series.

The manufacturer sells a modest 60,000 vehicles per year, and while growth in China, Russia and the US is expected to drive up this figure in the short term, the company is keen to find fresh customers through new products.

Jaguar brand director Adrian Hallmark admitted that even a modest share of the small executive saloon market would make a huge difference to the company. ‘We’re clearly looking at that segment – and not only at saloon cars, either [a crossover is said to have been considered] – but no decisions have been made yet on the bodystyles in detail or the build materials. These factors are in serious debate now.’

He added, ‘That would definitely be in the second half of this decade. It couldn’t really be before then.’
Hallmark also admitted that Jaguar’s 3 Series rival need not follow its stablemates in having expensive aluminium construction. ‘There is a cost penalty in that, so it would depend on whether people are willing to pay for it. If they are, and it creates a premium, then great. If not, there’s no point in doing it.’

Hallmark also said that Jaguar is also considering an even smaller vehicle – a rival for the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class. ‘If you look at smaller cars, we definitely need to look, in the longer term, below 3 Series,’ he said. ‘We’re talking beyond the second half of the decade now, and for that we’ll need a new approach. We haven’t taken any decisions yet on how we’d work towards that, but all options are open.’

Jaguar was showcasing the F-type, but it also has designs on the small executive car market

Earlier this year, Jaguar chief designer Ian Callum told What Car?, ‘I have mentioned a supermini and that is my personal soapbox, internally and externally. I’d love to think that one day we could make something the size of a Mini.’

Paris motor show 2012 >>

By John McIlroy

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