Jaguar cutting manual transmissions from US; other models may be next (Updated)

Jaguar’s current financial woes could spell the end of some models in the U.S., according to a recent report.

Jaguar USA CEO Joe Eberhardt told The Detroit Bureau last week that Jaguar will drop its manual transmission, and that slow-selling models could also be shelved. Eberhardt said buyers’ preferences for crossovers and SUVs prompted the shift away from niche models. That’s not to say Jaguar wasn’t prepping for the shift; the brand didn’t prep quickly enough.

Jaguar has two cost-cutting plans, “Charge” and “Accelerate,” that aim to save $3.3 billion over time. The company plans to cut about 4,500 workers, mostly in the UK, and shelve slow-selling models. For U.S. fans, that means no manual-transmission Jaguars for 2020. Other cost-saving programs, such as eliminating the XF Sportbrake, could be considered later, according to the report.

A spokeswoman for Jaguar confirmed to Motor Authority that the manual transmission won’t be available for 2020, but added that the XF Sportbrake will be around for at least another year.

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Discussions will also continue whether other models are still viable, such as the XJ range-topping sedan. Diesels may be on the chopping block as well as demand slides in the U.S. and Europe alike.

How unpopular are Jaguar sedans? Two crossover models, the F-Pace and E-Pace, make up about two-thirds of the brand’s volume. The one-third is divided up among the XE, XJ, XF, and F-Type.

2020 Jaguar XE

2020 Jaguar XE

We’ve previously heard rumors that Jaguar plans to turn into an all-electric brand. The move would supposedly see Jaguar drop the XE and XJ in favor of another electric crossover. The XF, however, would remain and rival new electric flagship sedans coming from other brands, as well as the Tesla Model S.

Yet, the potential plan runs counter to news we heard from Jaguar CEO Ralf Speth. In January, he said Jaguar sedans would be safe and play an important part in future electrification efforts. It’s possible Speth wasn’t speaking on behalf of U.S. operations, however.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated the XF Sportbrake would end production in 2019. A spokeswoman for Jaguar confirmed that the model would be on sale for 2020, but the company has not yet said when the wagon would end production.


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