Press Report : Jaguar looking at BMW 3 Series rival again

Diana T. Kurylko, Automotive News Europe, 1st February, 2011

Jaguar may develop a small sedan to compete with BMW’s 3 Series –  something it tried a decade ago with little success.

Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s new Global Brand Director, says Jaguar is considering a small sports car that could also be offered as a sedan.  “We need different models. We need lower-priced models,” said Hallmark, a former head of Volkswagen AG’s VW brand in the U.S.

Hallmark imagines a small sedan below the XF that could compete against the 3 Series or the Audi A4/A5. “We need to play in that world,” Hallmark said. Jaguar needs a small sports car for image and a sedan for volume, he said. “We have to do both. Whether we do one, two or three body styles, we can still decide. But we have to be in the lower price.” However, with regard to the timing of any launch, he commented: “We are at the beginning of that process, four-plus years before we see the first launch.”

Jaguar’s previous attempt at a small sedan, the Ford Mondeo-based X-TYPE that debuted in Europe 10 years ago, but was a sales disappointment. Production for the U.S. ended in 2007. Hallmark said Jaguar won’t make that mistake again.

“We don’t want to be fighting it out in the fleet business with little engines and small wheels and discounted 25 percent,” he said. “If we go into the smaller car market, we want to build elegant cars with great technology that give a sense of occasion and position us above that competition – where Jaguar should be.”

[Source: Automotive News Europe]

Clive Goldthorp


  1. Why not re-introduce the Rover brand on the proposed X-TYPE-sized model? The Jaguar marque would therefore be protected if the car was not a sales success.

  2. I agree – that would be a natural starting ground for the Rover marque rather than pitching itself too low down in the market and attracting the volume-orientated image that it was previously exposed to.

    I believe that, if a Rover-badged Jaguar X-TYPE replacement could combine the presence and majesty of the P5B (and be offered in a 4-Door Coupe version, too!), the dynamic appeal of the P6 and the avantegarde drama of the SD1 with the build quality of the early R40 75, it would be a very good car.

    Indeed, with a Rover badge on it, I would buy one.

  3. @Ianto
    UK and European memories are too negative of the whole MG Rover affair.

    Rover would not sell amongst the trendy Audi A4/BMW 3-Series crowd, who see them as poor quality, elderly persons’ cars. That’s not my opinion, but my opinion of other’s opinions…

    The Americans would either confuse them with Land Rovers or they would sink like the Sterling 800.

    Downsizing does not seem to have affected the popularity of the “Premium” brands’ models such as the Audi A1 or A3 and BMW 1-Series. It seems to be what is needed with European legislation across brands (see the Aston Cygnet…) and some people wanting to give the impression of downsizing to save the trees.

    Rover could be used as a sub-premium brand – Jaguar’s answer to VW perhaps -using old Jaguar platforms but with refreshed body shells and, possibly, even hatchbacks in memory of the SD1, 800, R8 etc.

  4. The same car with Jaguar rather than Rover badges would probably retail for at least £2000 more and benefit from the halo effect of the XJs and XFRs. Rover badges would just bring back memories of financial crisis, an aging range and Chinese bailouts etc.

    I suggest that, if you want a Rover, you buy a Freelander and stick some gaffer tape over the “Land” part of the badge!

  5. This is great news.

    I can only afford secondhand cars and we recently bought a BMW 318 for my wife. She wanted a compact car and, after trying a few cars, the only models she would have chosen from were the BMW Mini Cooper which only has four seatbelts – we need five, the BMW 318 (only has a centre lapbelt), and an Amaranth Rover 216 5 door (which has a centre diagonal belt).

    She would have chosen the Rover except that it had a stuffed CVT and had already been sold subject to the gearbox being fixed – I’m also a little weary of the K-Series engine. We bought the BMW 318 (yes, I feel slightly uncomfortable about that) – it’s a nice car which sort of fills the role of the Triumph Dolomite Sprint. I drive an XJ40 and we also have a Land Rover Discovery V8 and a 110.

    I think that Jaguar could have easily made the XJ40 in two sizes – if it was 200 to 300 mm shorter at the ends and rounder at the corners it would be a lot easier to drive and park.

    I think one thing that prevented the X-TYPE from catching on was its connection with the Mondeo. I don’t think the Mondeo connection was a bad thing (althuogh we drove a 1997 Ford Fiesta when testing cars recently and it’s cute and cool but not well made or quiet) but some people obviously didn’t see that (the Mondeo connection) as a good thing.

    Alex in New Zealand

  6. @Mike C
    Yes, this is the niche that the Evoque should fill. A Land Rover was, after all, originally a four wheel drive Rover, so surely a two wheel drive Land Rover is a Rover?

  7. I’m an ex-Austin Motor Company and Jaguar/BMH man from the old days with Alan Sheppard and company. I find the design lines more than perfectly OK and a very refreshing and heartening step in the right direction.

    William Lyons, Mike Hawthorne, Lofty England and Ian Appleyard would all have loved this one!

    The Acid Test?

    Yes – I would buy one provided it had an appropiate British design interior, Connolly leather and an optional modern, economical and punchy diesel similar to those 2.0 litre units from BMW in Steyr – who, incidentally, do a great job developing and manufacturing those units – with extremely useful high torque and refinement.

    Anyway, as I said, design-wise it is certainly a step in the right direction and, yes, Jaguar does need a premium model range in this market category here, in Europe and in China!

    However, this new model must come quickly – 2014 seems too far off in these fast-changing, modern times.

    Over to you Jaguar – we are waiting…

  8. They dont want to fight it out with small engines, small wheels and big discounts – But isnt that exactly what the XF 2.2d is doing right now?

  9. The X types failure had absolutely nothing to do with its Mondeo platform. After all the Freelander and Evoque are both Ford based and it does them no harm. The X types image and styling killed it, Jaguar making the same mistake Rover made. Thinking the market was ready to embrace heritage when it was moving in the opposite direction. The fact that the X Type was aimed at the fleet market but sold initially with huge V6 petrol engines didnt help either.

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