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Jaguar counts on XE, first crossover to reach ambitious sales goal

This teaser image shows Jaguar's plans for the XE, its first mid-sized premium sedan since the X-Type was discontinued in 2009.
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Jaguar is counting on the new XE sedan and a forthcoming crossover to help boost Jaguar Land Rover’s global vehicle sales to 750,000 by the end of the decade, up from an all-time high of 425,000 last year.

Jaguar showed an image of the XE during the Geneva auto show last month.

The production version of the Audi A4 rival will debut in October at the Paris auto show and will go on sale globally next year. The XE is Jaguar’s first mid-sized premium sedan since it discontinued the Ford Mondeo-based X-Type in 2009. The XE will be the first model underpinned by JLR's aluminum spaceframe. The architecture also will be used for the crossover, which will take styling hints from the C-X17 concept Jaguar unveiled last autumn.

Andy Goss, JLR group sales operations director, declined to share the volume targets for the XE and crossover. He did, however, tell Automotive News Europe that JLR’s recently announced plant expansions hint at a total installed capacity of about 600,000 units for the automaker by later this decade. That is in line with a previously announced sales goal from Jaguar Land Rover Canada President Lindsay Duffield, who said last June that the automaker is targeting global sales of 750,000 units by the end of the decade, with an eventual target of 1 million units.

Next year, JLR plans to start production at its new China plant, which has a capacity of 130,000 units. JLR will invest 10.9 billion yuan (1.3 billion euros) to add the factory. It is part of a joint venture with China’s Chery Automobile that includes an r&d center and an engine plant in the eastern city of Changshu. Within two years JLR will also begin making vehicles in Itatiaia, Brazil, for South America. The 240 million pound (287 million euro) plant’s initial capacity will be 24,000 units a year growing quickly to 40,000 units. Plant construction is scheduled to start in a few months with the first cars rolling off the line in 2016.

“Our plants in the UK are working flat out, on three shifts five days a week,” Goss said. “The new plants overseas will free capacity in the UK for global supply of our new products.”

Richard Truett and Bloomberg contributed to this report

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You can reach Luca Ciferri at lciferri@crain.com.

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