Using the Alfa as a base for a new Jaguar would not only mean significant savings for JLR, but money could also be invested where it is really needed – not in UK-made engines or expensive aluminium structures but on interior quality and styling.
Sure, the facelift XE, XF and F-Pace all now have interiors worthy of the brand, but they needed them five years ago at launch. Back then, Jaguar’s design studio was hampered by limited amounts of investment and relatively small sales projections.
And could the new E-Pace be a sister-ship the Alfa Stelvio? Why not? Sales of the current E-Pace – made in Austria for JLR – tumbled by over 40% in 2020, but there’s surely a 40,000 annual market for a slightly larger and more upmarket E-Pace.
Felipe Muñoz, global analyst at Jato Dynamics, tells me that Alfa built just 33,000 Stelvios and 20,000 Giulia saloons last year at Cassino. That’s far below the plant’s capacity, so adding 40,000 Jaguar saloons would be a huge help to the plant. Adding another 40,000 E-Pace models would surely transform Alfa’s financial viability.
More surprisingly, my industry insider insisted that an Alfa-built Jaguar might be supplied at factory cost by Alfa owner Stellantis, because Cassino’s finances would greatly improve just by gaining extra volume.
Usually, licence fees for licence-built cars kill any profitability for the brand utilising another company’s technology. But in the post-Covid era, and with Stellantis struggling with factory overcapacity, there’s a deal to done, my source insists.