It’s safe to say if you ask someone to name an iconic British marque, their first response will be Jaguar Land Rover. Whether its the British Racing Green paint, or the timeless beauty of the E-Type, the manufacturer holds a special place in any car enthusiasts heart. But with attention-grabbing headlines and announcements on almost a weekly basis, what is going on at Jaguar Land Rover?
An innovation revolution
10 years ago, Jaguar Land Rover was at the brink of collapse. It’s previous owner, Ford, couldn’t make the two brands profitable and they hadn’t produced a car of significance in years. This all changed following an acquisition by Tata Technologies, bringing with it a new lease of life.
Changing the mindset of the company, Ratan Tata set about making Jaguar Land Rover the car of the future. The dividends of this are only just starting to show, but in a big way. Moving away from short term targets and improving the balance sheet, Tata put in place a number of long term projects that would solidify Jaguar Land Rover as a manufacturer of innovation, sustainability and quality. Although this took a number of years to unfold, the bold strategy has paid off significantly. It’s actually hard to find a car in it’s current range that hasn’t won a major award recently:
- F-PACE: 2017 World Car of the Year
- XE: XE claims 60th major global award
- I-PACE: Design Award 2017
- E-PACE: TopGear’s Crossover of the Year 2017
It’s therefore hardly surprising that owning one of their models has jumped to the top of everyone’s wish list. And everyone I mean EVERYONE.
Why Jaguar Land Rover produces a car for every person imaginable
Recently I was invited by the Jaguar PR Team to attend their range day at Stoke Park. Aside from being a childhood dream come true to drive such incredible cars, I was staggered by just how well they have managed to capture the entire market, and truly do have a car for anyone. Want a leisurely commute to work each day – pick the XE? Want to spice up that commute? Pick the XJR. Want a car that you will instantly fall in love with and eagerly find your nearest racing circuit just to see if you can take one for a spin (hint hint @JaguarUKPR). Then the F-Type is yours. Looking to add a bit of style to your countryside ventures? The Range Rover Velar has you covered. Sadly I didn’t get to test them all, but here’s my two favourites:
First on my driving list had to be 2017’s best car in the world, the F-PACE. Stepping inside it’s not hard to see why it has received so many accolades. Spacious and stylish, the F-PACE is a car that will make you find reasons to go on a drive at every given opportunity. The drive itself is incredibly smooth and although you have a commanding position on the road, the car doesn’t feel overly large or intrusive on others. I’m eagerly awaiting the new I-PACE launch now to see how they can convert this masterpiece for the electric market.
Range Rover Velar
I’ll be brutally honest here. I’ve never been a fan of Land Rover’s or Range Rovers – I know, an odd thing to say in a blog dedicated to them, but they’ve never appealed to me as a car I’d want to own. My brother who works as a farm manager? Sure they make perfect sense for him, but I’ve never understand why people buy them just to drive around town. That is until I had a chance to drive one.
Now I want one.
Like REALLY want one.
My Mercedes-Benz A-Class may be taking a sideline in 2018 if I can get my way.
Aside from looking simply stunning up-close, the interior of the Velar makes you feel like royalty, the centre console is dominated by a large touch screen making you feel like you’re controlling a spaceship as opposed to a car, and the drive feels exceptional thanks to the air suspension. If like me you’ve always had a thing against SUV’s and 4×4’s, test drive one of these, it will change your perception entirely.
Investing in Tomorrow
But a stellar line-up isn’t the only project Jaguar Land Rover is working on. As the first manufacturer to realise the potential of Formula E as a marketing tool, Jaguar has invested heavily in promoting its presence through @JaguarRacing.
With strong finishes in its first full season, it has adopted the same strategy as the retail division, with long term aims as opposed to a short-sighted approach. It’s aim to be at the forefront of innovation has been compounded by its announcement that for the 2018/19 season it will introduce a one-make Formula E support series to coincide with the launch of its new I-PACE model.
Being so heavily involved in a series which has seen such interest from major global manufacturers can only be a good thing for the brand. Once again it will be remembered as the first adopter of the series too, reinforcing Ratan Tata’s global objectives for the marque.
(Plus they’ve just announced that Paul Di Resta will be part of their rookie test in Marrakech, so looking forward to seeing how he performs behind the wheel. Similar to when he took me for a spin in an AMG GT a few years ago!)
Will this growth and popularity last?
Yes. Of course it will slow down as other manufacturers desperately try to cling on to Jaguar Land Rover’s coat tails. But we are only just starting to see projects come to fruition that have been in the pipeline for years. So I would bet we still have many things to be amazed by in the next few years coming from JLR.
Don’t believe me? They announced this this morning: Jaguar Land Rover announce record sales