JLR seeks new design impulses
Automaker to open studios in the U.S., China
Jaguar Land Rover will follow premium rivals by opening design studios outside its UK home market, Jaguar's design chief Ian Callum said.
The company will set up studios in China and the United States to better understand local tastes in those markets, Callum told Automotive News Europe.
"We have to design cars in the JLR ethos, but there are details we have to know about," the designer said on the sidelines of the Paris auto show. "We are going to go out there to get a feeling for what the market is and what people like."
The United States is JLR's second-biggest market after the UK based on last year's sales figures, with China closely following in third.
JLR's competitors already have multiple design centers outside their home markets around the world. In April, BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA opened a studio in Shanghai. BMW's California-based design consultancy also has studios in Los Angeles, Munich, and Singapore. Mercedes-Benz and Audi opened studios in Beijing last year. In addition, Mercedes, Audi and Volvo all have studios in California, while Mercedes also has design centers in Tokyo and Italy and Volvo has a studio in Spain.
No time frame or location for the JLR studios was given. Callum stressed that the design of Jaguars and Land Rovers would remain British. "We will never design a car around another culture," he said, "but we will certainly build into that vehicle certain national tastes for that market."
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