Jaguar is an automotive company centered on luxurious performance vehicles. Sticking to that theme has helped the automaker survive for nearly 100-years. But, the company has struggled for the last two decades trying to introduce younger buyers to the brand. Jaguar has attempted “Baby Jags” more than once to attract new buyers with arguably little success. It has not given up, though. Now the company is considering doing it again but in an electric form.
In 1989 Ford bought Jaguar. The American automaker decided it would be good to expand Jaguar’s product portfolio with a “Baby Jag”. The thought was that luxurious performance-oriented cars in a smaller package would help draw the younger generation into the Jaguar fold. Jaguar already had a similar plan prior to the Ford purchase but shelved it at the time. But, when Ford decided to throw some money at the project, the S-Type sedan was born for the 2000 model year.
The rear-drive Jaguar S-Type shared its platform with the Ford Thunderbird and Lincoln LS. It was smaller than the other Jaguar vehicles in the product lineup. The cross-company sharing permitted production savings. While the S-Type did garner some attention from new buyers, it was short-lived. The S-Type would cease with the 2008 model year.
Then there was the Jaguar X-Type. It became available for the 2001 model year. So, Ford had successfully added two new models to Jaguar’s portfolio of products. The X-Type, was a front or all-wheel drive even smaller “Baby Jag”. It would have 2009 be its final model year.
The XE model
In 2015 the replacement of the baby jag sedans came into being. The new XE is still being produced to this day. However, although a nice car, it sadly is forgettable. The rear or all-wheel drive sedan is still a true performance and luxury-oriented vehicle that carries on the familiar Jaguar face. But, it only sold 360 units of the XE during the second quarter of this year. Granted, there was a pandemic influencing those sales, but that’s the largest drop percentage-wise of all the Jaguar sedans in the lineup right now.
Now another “Baby Jag”
The British automaker understands that it needs to keep up with technology in order to survive. The old mantra of, adapt or die, is true in most business arenas, including the automotive one. So, it is exploring the electrification of its lineup. In fact, Jaguar has been doing that for years, and speculation is that the big brother, the XJ will be reborn as an electric next model year. But, our friends at Auto Express have also found that the current “Baby Jag,” the model XE, may be replaced with an all-electric model to take on the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar 2 models. Speaking with Nick Rogers, Jaguar’s director of engineering,
“That’s a really cool space that ideally we want to be in, and ideally our customers want us to be in – and it’s extremely relevant at this time.”
As the world turns, these are the days of “Baby Jag” lives. The XE might be going into the general hospital for end-of-life care, but a new electric sedan may be the guiding light for the company to finally make a smaller Jaguar that actually sticks around. It is a bold and beautiful plan,… That is, if the company’s new management decides to re-enter the smaller car space again after the alleged XE model’s demise.