One of the most surprising things I learned in my time working for Ford Motor Co. is how far in advance automakers are working. This may be 2021 to us, but if you work in product development or engineering at an automaker, it's more like 2026 to you.
Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore, who took over about a year ago, this year announced a new strategy for the Jaguar brand. It entails ending production of all the vehicles in Jag's current lineup in 2025 and replacing them with two, possibly three, electric vehicles that share a platform separate from those underpinning Land Rover vehicles.
Bollore says JLR is looking to partner with another automaker for the chassis planned for the next-generation electric Jags.
This may be one instance where an automaker isn't working years into the future. If JLR has identified a potential partner, officials are being coy about it. Bollore's "Reimagine" plan was unwrapped in February, and it seems likely that nothing has been finalized yet.
Of late, JLR has been drifting closer to BMW, and it is possible a natural evolution of a recent engine deal between the two companies — some Land Rovers will use a BMW V-8 — could be an EV platform-sharing pact.
But I want to bring to Bollore's attention another automaker's EV platform that he should consider: Cadillac. Specifically, the Cadillac Celestiq electric super sedan coming sooner than the new Jags — 2023.
Under Bollore's plan, Jag is shifting to lower volume, but higher profits per vehicle. He'll do that by taking the brand way upmarket to compete with Bentley, Aston Martin and upper-end Mercedes-Benz Maybach models.