Report: Jaguar to delay electric XJ launch until late 2021

The launch of the next-generation electric-only Jaguar XJ is set to be delayed until late next year because the British car maker is cutting back on non-essential spending, according to reports.

The Tesla Model S rival, which was recently spied testing in prototype form, had been due to be unveiled later this year, going on sale early in 2021. But The Sunday Times reports that the launch has now been delayed until October, to allow Jaguar Land Rover to focus production on its most profitable models.

The new XJ is due to be built at the firm’s Castle Bromwich factory, which also builds the XE and XF. The plant is due to reopen following an extended shutdown due to Covid-19 next month, with social distancing measures meaning that it will operate at a reduced output.

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Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by the Indian Tata Group, was in the middle of a major restructuring programme as part of moves to stem recent heavy losses, and like many car firms has been badly hit by the financial impact of Covid-19.

To combat that, The Sunday Times claims the firm is cutting back heavily on non-essential spending for the immediate future – but a spokesperson said the firm remained committed to eventually launching a new version of its range-topping model.

In a statement issued to Autocar, Jaguar said: “The Jaguar XJ has been our flagship model for 50 years. Over eight generations of production, it has been designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK and exported to more than 120 countries.  The next-generation all-electric Jaguar XJ builds on the characteristics synonymous with its predecessors – beautiful design, intelligent performance and revered luxury. Our engineers continue to work on the next-generation all-electric Jaguar XJ.

“We remain committed to our long-term strategy and our product portfolio remains the same, but the unprecedented situation will inevitably have an impact on our immediate plans.”

The paper also claims that Jaguar Land Rover bosses are still hoping to convince UK government ministers to launch a scrappage scheme to boost sales of new cars.