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Jaguar axes XE wagon rumors

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On: Wed, May 4, 2016 at 10:23AM | By: Carl Malek

Jaguar axes XE wagon rumors

Jaguar's XE sport sedan has been making waves in Europe, and is set to make its U.S. debut very soon. However, Jaguar has revealed that a wagon variant is not in the cards, silencing rumors that it was considering an estate version to challenge established rivals like BMW and Mercedes Benz.

The British luxury automaker's decision was not an easy one; the firm actually seriously considered an entry that could take on the popular BMW 3-Series estate and the Mercedes C-Class estate, which are currently the two most popular wagon offerings in Europe. In the end, the wagon was given the axe, not because of the strong European demand for them, but because the segment has shrunk in Asia and the United States. Wagon models are not selling well due to competition from larger SUVs, as well as CVs, especially in the United States, where crossover sales have spiked during the past several years. As a result, Jaguar's bean counters and high-ranking executives simply could not make a plausible business case for the utility-minded model and it was scrapped.

Ian Callum, Jaguar's chief designer, offered his two cents on the subject when he was interviewed by Automotive News: "The [wagon] market is massively shrinking. I'm very sad about it, but it's a very difficult market to justify. The world's biggest wagon market is Germany. And what do the Germans buy? They buy German cars." However, this does not mean that the station wagon has been completely erased from the company's product plans; various media outlets reportg that a wagon is indeed coming. These reports also received a bit of ground when Callum confirmed on Twitter that a new wagon is indeed in the pipeline.

The question then is what will it be based on? With the XE effectively eliminated from contention, the field narrows down to two possible suspects: the XF and the flagship XJ. An interesting idea would be to transform the large XJ into some sort of stylish luxury wagon; the awkward proportions and the scale of development for such an operation would be immense and drain Jaguar of precious capital. Instead look for the XF Sportbrake to possibly live on for another generation despite its low sales figures when compared to the sedan version. However, like the current generation model, don't expect this updated Sportbrake to land in the U.S. Our country's growing appetite for crossovers and SUVs which would effectively squeeze the wagon out of the market and turn it into a slow-selling niche vehicle that would cater to only a small population of buyers.


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