Jaguar Land Rover will look outside the company to find a platform for new full-electric Jaguar models, CEO Thierry Bollore said.
The UK automaker plans to make its Jaguar brand all-electric starting in 2025, dropping combustion engines as the marque’s sedans and crossovers reach the end of their life cycles. Land Rover will get its first battery-powered vehicle in 2024 but will not be electric-only in the new future.
The plan includes giving Jaguar its own standalone electric platform, which would be expensive to produce in-house for a brand that is expected to remain low-volume, below even the 103,000 vehicles it sold worldwide last year.
Bollore said the automaker has started the process to find a company willing to partner with Jaguar on the architecture. “Naturally there is massive appetite to work with us,” he told financial analysts during an investor day on Friday.
The decision to work with a partner “was a matter of scale and speed to go to market,” Bollore said.
He said the company was talking “with a selection of actors,” without going into detail.
Automakers are increasingly looking outside their company for platforms to increase scale and reduce development costs. Ford Motor Co., for example, will use Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric-only platform to develop its first Europe-focused battery-powered car, due in 2023.
The choice of partner and platform will be partly dictated by the designs being drawn up by JLR’s head of design, Gerry McGovern. “It has to respect the proportion of the designs,” Bollore said.
McGovern is being given a high level of freedom to decide what type of car the new models will be, and the new architecture will have to fit in with this. “Great design begins with volume of proportions and clearly Jaguars will have quite significant different volumes of proportion compared to Land Rovers,” McGovern said on the investor call.
“Therefore, we need to look for opportunities out there in terms of architectures that we could utilize or refine to give the stunning jaw-dropping Jaguars I’m talking about,” he said.
Bollore said that if the company was unsuccessful in finding the right supplier, it was prepared to develop an architecture in-house. “It may be that we develop platform internally, but it has to be design led,” Bollore said. “There is no point doing what we are doing with Jaguar unless these products are drop dead gorgeous.”
McGovern said future Jaguar designs need to be “absolutely modern and contemporary.”
“They shouldn’t be retrospective at all and shouldn’t emulate anyone,” he said.
JLR has scrapped an all-electric Jaguar XJ that was being developed the company’s new MLA electrified architecture. That architecture will now be solely be used for Land Rovers, beginning with the new Range Rover that’s due to launch in the next 12-18 months.