When was the last time you saw a child seat in the back of a Jaguar?
That’s probably not something you’ve ever considered, but you can be sure Jaguar’s product planners are well aware of the brand’s demographic limitations. That’s precisely why instead of launching one SUV, the F-Pace, it’s instead planning a whole family of more practical models.
A Jaguar dealer once told me a story about the XK coupé. It was a fine car but was, in effect, a two-seater with jump seats in the back.
The dealer said a Porsche 911 driver once appeared at the dealership and pulled the child seat out of the back of his car and tried to fit it into the XK, without success. With zero chance of accommodating his child, the frustrated Porsche driver had to abandon the idea of owning a Jaguar.
The short version is that affluent, early middle-aged car buyers are more likely to have children than not, and Jaguar has never really been seen as a family brand.
Indeed, the only serious family vehicle it has so far produced in its long history is the XF Sportbrake.
Associated with older buyers, Jaguar is pushing hard to gain a more youthful image. For example, the XF wagon and its sponsorship of the Sky cycle race team accompanied the launch of the F-Type sports car.
However, the F-Pace (so named in order to be associated with the F-Type) will be the long-awaited breakthrough for Jaguar’s family image. It will be a premium SUV of the type that has been a huge seller for major brands from Audi to Volvo.
Jaguar wants to modernise its image. The F-Pace will be a huge leap in that direction.