Jaguar takes the luxury market heads on image

Jaguar Land Rover sales rose 19% in 2013 with help from increased Chinese demand, and has also received this year an investment of $5.6 billion.

Jaguar announced on Monday that the XE sports sedan, priced around 27,000 pounds in the U.K. will be the first model in the XE series and that a sport utility vehicle is expected to follow it. The carmaker’s goal is to challenge the luxury automarket which has been dominated for a long time by German cars like the BMW 3 series (priced at 23,550 pounds), Audi and Mercedes-Benz models.

Nick Miller, chief program engineer of the XE series, said that Jaguar’s return to the entry-level luxury market took place through economies of scale and a purpose-built new frame from recycled aluminum. According to the firm, the lightweight metal forms 75% of the car body’s surface area, the highest of any similar vehicle.

Jaguar stated that the XE sport sedan will be the carmaker’s most aerodynamic vehicle due to a smooth underfloor to reduce drag and a rear end to increase downforce. The car and its subsequent models in the series, which will be detailed at the Paris motor show in October, are part of a $3.2 billion investment program at Jaguar.

With 1,100 new recent hires at its Solihull vehicle factory and Wolverhampton engine plan, both located in the U.K., Jaguar has in store other 2,000 jobs to be filled this year.

By Gabriela Florea