05 June 2018

The SUV Invasion - JLR USA Experience

Fancy an SUV/crossover type vehicle? You're not alone. The trend is global, although it obviously varies to some degree from place to place. How far it will go no one knows, although there has to be a limit. However, one example shows how it is progressing and that is with JLR, USA.

In 2013, the sales split between Land Rover and Jaguar in the U.S. was 75/25. LR made SUVs (five at the time) and Jaguar just cars (four). Since then Jaguar added another car (XE) and shortly after it's first SUV (F-Pace). The Velar is now establishing itself, as is the latest edition to Jaguar, the second SUV (E-Pace). So what's the situation now?

For the first five months of 2018, the percentage of sales for cars Jaguar cars within JLR is down to 10.5%. That's gone from 25% a few years ago. True, there are more SUVs to choose from. The ratio was five to four in 2013 but now eight to four. Still, the average car's share of JLR sales has less than halved from 6.3% to 2.6%. SUVs have gone from 14.9% per model to 11.2%. The trend is unmistakable.

Below, sales are for Ja-May 2018. SUVs are in green and cars are coded yellow. What do you think?

Rk Model Sales % Co

1 R Rover Sport 9,940 19.9% LR

2 Range Rover 8,091 16.2% LR

3 Velar 7,449 14.9% LR

4 Discovery Sport 4,824 9.6% LR

5 F-Pace 4,404 8.8% J

6 Discovery 3,847 7.7% LR

7 Evoque 3,646 7.3% LR

8 E-Pace 2,577 5.2% J

9 XE 2,310 4.6% J

10 F-Type 1,044 2.1% J

11 XF 1,039 2.1% J

12 XJ 831 1.7% J

JLR 50,002

Clearly, the cars aren't doing well. There could be other factors that could be used in mitigation, but the facts are so decisive, the reality is undeniable. For JLR, the car range of the future won't be extensive. I'd suggest the XE and XF will become one model, a sports car range will be there but sales won't be huge in terms of volume and as for the XJ? A large crossover type may be the way forward. 

Car manufacturers have to contend with fast moving, expensive new technologies but also changes in tastes in body styles. At least the latter has been a steady trend, so no excuses for getting caught out. Jaguar nearly did with SUVs but the wisdom of going in that direction in plain to see.

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