Sales Figure of Jaguar I-PACE for First Half of 2020 Reflects Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Electric Car Market

published: 2020-07-18 18:30 | editor: | category: News

The I-PACE, which is the first battery-electric CUV (or crossover SUV) from the premium automotive brand Jaguar, has won numerous awards and enjoyed a fairly strong market performance since its launch in 2018. However, the fallout from the recent COVID-19 pandemic has affected its sales figure for the first half of 2020. The latest numbers released by Jaguar show that unit sales of the I-PACE in the first half of this year fell significantly compared with the same period last year. On the other hand, the share of the I-PACE in Jaguar’s overall sales rose to a new high of 13.2%.

The global car market has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. All car makers have suffered a considerable drop in sales, and Jaguar is no exception. According to the latest sales numbers released by Jaguar, sales of the I-PACE in the first half of 2020 declined by 30-40% year on year.

A total of 5,436 units of the I-PACE were delivered in the first half of this year, with the figures for the first and second quarters standing at 2,955 and 2,481 respectively. Furthermore, the share of the I-PACE in Jaguar’s overall sales climbed to a new high of 13.2% mainly due to the contraction of the overall sales during the half-year period.

Last year, Jaguar managed to sell around 4,000 units of the I-PACE every quarter, so the results for the first and second quarters of this year are disappointing. Nevertheless, worldwide deliveries of the I-PACE since the launch of the model in 2018 have come to a cumulative total of almost 30,000 units. This record is fairly impressive for the first battery-electric model from the luxury car brand.

From its reveal onward, the I-PACE has kept receiving accolades from industry groups and media publishers. The model has won more than 60 international awards within the first two years of being on the market. Some honors may have been given as a part of a promotional campaign or in exchange for sponsorship, but the I-PACE did earn some very prestigious awards such as the 2019 European Car of the Year, and the 2019 World Car of the Year. These recognitions indicate that Jaguar has designed a battery-electric vehicle that excels in many aspects.

▲ To save energy and extend the battery range, the I-PACE has a specially designed grille that helps limit the drag coefficient to 0.29. (Source: Jaguar.)

One of the main reasons as to why the I-PACE has won so many awards is that it incorporates some of the key technologies of the I-TYPE, which is another electric model developed by Jaguar for Formula E racing. The aerodynamic design of the I-PACE, in particular, has been optimized to extend the battery range. According to the testing by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the I-PACE has a battery range of 374km.

The Jaguar I-PACE is priced around the same level as the Tesla Model S, but the former is generally viewed as having better interior looks and a higher production quality. This comparison between them also raises an interesting question: Which has more unit sales in Taiwan?

Monthly Sales of Jaguar I-PACE and Tesla Model S in First Half of 2020

 

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May.

Jun.

Total

Jaguar I-Pace

1

16

10

3

2

3

35

Tesla Model S

5

6

23

6

6

4

50

▲ The above table shows that the Tesla Model S had a higher sales number than the Jaguar I-PACE in Taiwan for the first half of 2020. Tesla has been able to compensate its weakness in production quality with its extensive charging infrastructure and more sophisticated automotive electronic systems. (Source: TechNews compiled this table with the available data.)

You guess right if you say the Model S, which edged out the I-PACE slightly by 15 units for the first half of 2020. Take away Tesla’s Supercharger stations, then consumer who are looking looking for cars in the higher end of the price range would mostly likely choose I-PACE over the Model S. Since the I-PACE ticks all the boxes for lavish features and production quality, it could be a highly competitive option for a luxury electric car in Taiwan if one is willing to overlook the lack of compatible charging stations. The situation is different in Europe, where the charging infrastructure is more diverse and much more built-out. There, the I-PACE should be able to gain a significantly lead over the Model S in sales.

The delivery period for Tesla vehicles is around six months on average. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused delays in Tesla’s production lines. As a result, sales of the Model S have been below expectations, though there is a chance of a turnaround in the second half of this year. Meanwhile, Jaguar has made some significant updates to the I-PACE as the vehicle advances to the model year 2021. The onboard AC charger of the I-PACE will be upgraded from a 7kW single-phase to an 11kW three-phase. As for other improvements, Jaguar will be introducing a new infotainment system and implementing the software-over-the-air functionality. While there will be noticeable changes in the design details of the 2021 I-PACE, the horsepower and total range will stay relatively the same.

The I-PACE is the first electric offering from Jaguar, and its powertrain system lags technologically behind that of the Tesla Model S. However, the I-PACE fits the description of a luxury car better than the Model S due to Jaguar’s high-quality British craftsmanship and stringent manufacturing standard. Whereas other established car makers stumbled somewhat in launching their first electric models, Jaguar came out of the gate strong. Hopefully, the pandemic will ease in the second half of this year so that sales of this vehicle will have a chance to rebound.

 (The credit for the photo at the top of the article goes to Jaguar. News source: TechNews.)

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