Jaguar will continue making exciting cars as long as there is demand for them.
If you’re worried that self-driving technology will eventually kill traditional manual-controlled driver’s cars and alienate enthusiasts, then fear not. Speaking to Autocar, Jaguar’s head of product strategy, Hanno Kirner, believes that self-driving technology will allow automakers to increasingly differentiate their lineups. After all, many people only see cars as a means to get from A to B, which makes autonomous cars ideal for using as commuters, taxis or shared vehicles.
But there will always be enthusiasts who want to own a car and drive purely for fun. If anything, demand for enthusiast cars could grow when autonomous driving becomes more mainstream. “Whether it is SVO [JLR’s performance arm] recreating classics to modern standards or creating track-day specials, I think it will grow as autonomous driving becomes a regular part of lives,” said Kirner. “I don’t for one second think we’ll see a generation appear with no interest in cars. Driving enthusiasts will still exist and we’ll want to engineer cars for them.” In other words, Jaguar will continue to make exciting cars that get your pulse racing like the F-Type as long as there is a demand for them.
In fact, there is currently more demand for fun cars than Jaguar’s production capacity can cope with, which bodes well for the future. “Today, we have more demand than we can satisfy for such cars and I don’t expect that to change. Yes, there is a generation that is more interested in their phones than anything else today, but they will grow older and want to drive one day.” In the future, however, Jaguar’s performance range could be streamlined. Reports suggest the automaker will kill off its R model range, which slots in between hot S and extreme SVR models, as having three tiers is proving to be too confusing for consumers.