Skip advert
Advertisement
Opinion

"Jaguar Land Rover designers and engineers show they can deliver"

JLR can climb back from the brink if its engineers are given clear direction, says John Mcllroy

jlr opinion

Another tough news week for Jaguar Land Rover, then, as the British company posted a quarterly loss of £273million compounded (and then some) by write-downs on the value of various investments. The total figure in the red, for just the last three months of 2018, was a staggering £3.4billion.

Advertisement - Article continues below

And yet there should be hope. As you’ll read from our early ride impressions of the all-new Evoque, JLR can still produce great cars. The second generation of the genre-making small SUV is more like a true baby Range Rover than its predecessor ever was.

Our first ride in the new Range Rover Evoque

It does also feel, though, like a vehicle that will sit in parallel with where the customer and legislative trends are going, instead of being bang on message. Because while there’s mild-hybrid tech across the range, a proper plug-in version isn’t likely to be around until next year. And don’t even ask about an all-electric edition.

As a result, the (excellent) Jaguar I-Pace EV is looking an increasingly isolated offering in JLR’s range – particularly when the VW Group behemoth is lining up more than a dozen pure-electric cars in the next couple of years. It’s not a question of scale, either, as Volvo, another relative minnow, has hybrid stitched into its range, including SUVs – today, not in 18 months’ time.

Jaguar Land Rover chief Dr Ralf Speth recently told analysts that the firm has taken “every action” and “not stepped away from tough decisions”. But the fact is that while some of his company’s problems must be attributed to the volatile Chinese market, it is also suffering because it has been too slow to be brutal about costs, positioning investment and reacting to the shift away from diesel and towards electrification.

Models like the Evoque show that when JLR’s designers and engineers are given clear direction, they can deliver. But the more the struggles continue, the more questions will be asked of those plotting the course.

How do you think the future looks for JLR? Let us know in comments...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Best new cars coming in 2024
Best new cars coming in 2024 - header image
Best cars & vans

Best new cars coming in 2024

There are some big new models from the likes of BMW, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, MINI, Skoda and more on the way in 2024
12 Mar 2024
Jaguar Land Rover pays for more police at UK ports to curb exports of stolen cars
Ships at port
News

Jaguar Land Rover pays for more police at UK ports to curb exports of stolen cars

The Range Rover maker spends ‘several hundred thousand pounds’ in effort to thwart stolen car exports from the UK
7 Feb 2024
Exclusive: Jaguar Land Rover boss sets the record straight on thefts, insurance, parts supply, electrification and more
JLR interview
News

Exclusive: Jaguar Land Rover boss sets the record straight on thefts, insurance, parts supply, electrification and more

JLR’s UK managing director, Patrick McGillycuddy, talks to us about the issues facing the business and its big future plans…
3 Feb 2024
Jaguar Land Rover CEO hits back over Range Rover theft issues
Range Rover action
News

Jaguar Land Rover CEO hits back over Range Rover theft issues

Insurance companies are “not using the data” according to CEO Adrian Mardell
2 Feb 2024

Most Popular

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind
Dacia Duster - tailgate
News

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind

The value brand’s new warranty is also available on used cars, as well as for existing Dacia customers
16 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month
Mercedes EQC - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month

Mercedes’s EQC showed that the German firm was serious about electric cars and it’s our Car Deal of the Day for Monday 15 April
15 Apr 2024
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio E-Tech - front tracking
Car group tests

Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle

With more and more electrified rivals arriving, Toyota has given its hybrid-only Yaris a facelift. We put it up against Renault’s class-leading Clio.
13 Apr 2024