Jaguar will be seeking a partner from outside the company for a platform to underpin its future, fully electric models, Automotive News Europe quoted CEO Thierry Bollore as saying.
The British automaker announced its EV-only plans for Jaguar as part of its Reimagine strategy, which plans to take its brand further upmarket and to further distinguish it from sister marque Land Rover, which will reaffirm its position as the maker of SUVs within the group.
As part of that plan, Jaguar will become a line-up of fully electric models by 2025, while Land Rover will debut its first fully electric model a year earlier in 2024. For Jaguar, this means that the brand will have its own electric vehicle platform, which has emerged that it will be sourced externally.
This is because the standalone EV platform would be too expensive to manufacture in-house, especially as it expects to sell less than the 103,000 units managed last year, according to Automotive News Europe. Jaguar has commenced the search process for an architecture partner, said Bollore. “Naturally, there is massive appetite to work with us,” the CEO told financial analysts during an investor day last week.
The decision to search for a partner to work with was a matter of scale, as well as the matter of how soon it could bring the new product to market, said Bollore, adding that the brand is talking with “a selection of actors” on the matter.
Part of the future platform’s criteria is how well it can conform to the designs produced by Jaguar Land Rover head of design Gerry McGovern, who has been given a high level of freedom to decide the type of car that the new Jaguar models will be, said Automotive News Europe.
“Great design begins with volume of proportions, and clearly Jaguars will have quite significantly different volumes of proportion compared to Land Rovers. Therefore, we need to look for opportunities out there in terms of architectures that we could utilise or refine to give the stunning, jaw-dropping Jaguars I’m talking about,” the report quoted McGovern as saying during the investor call.
That said, if it turns out that Jaguar’s search for a platform partner is unsuccessful, the British marque is prepared to develop its EV architecture in-house, however it must be just as design led, Bollore said. “There is no point doing what we are doing with Jaguar unless these products are drop-dead gorgeous,” he said.
McGovern concurred, adding that future Jaguar designs need to be “absolutely modern and contemporary. They shouldn’t be retrospective and shouldn’t emulate anyone,” the design chief said.
Initially planned to be built on the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA), the next-generation Jaguar XJ was scrapped mid-development in favour of the future standalone platform, and the MLA platform will instead solely underpin Land Rover products within the group. First to emerge from this group will be the fifth-generation Range Rover, which is expected to debut in the next 12 to 18 months, according to Automotive News Europe.
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