The scale of Jaguar’s failure in the vital compact premium market is now clear.
The car that established and defined the compact premium market segment was, I would argue, the 1982 BMW E30-generation 3 Series. There had, of course, always been sporting saloons from European manufacturers that were regarded as a cut above the mainstream, for example Alfa Romeo’s lovely 1962 Type 105 Giulia but, outside their home market at least, sales of such cars were always modest, hence they offered the benefit of exclusivity to their buyers. The genius of the E30 and subsequent generations of 3 Series was that they were able to sell in very large numbers while still remaining desirable and aspirational.
The E30 also benefitted hugely from the emergence in the 1980s of a new tribe of potential customers, the so-called ‘Yuppies’(1). These individuals were a product of financial markets deregulation that created a boom in highly-paid jobs in financial services on both sides of the Atlantic.
Yuppies were characterised as highly ambitious individuals who enjoyed the benefits of their new found wealth. They were also very competitive and status-conscious, so needed to Continue reading “Missing the Marque: Jaguar XE and E-Pace”