Apologies for jumping straight into some techy details but that is kind of what drives platform sharing. Different classes of cars have different needs but one thing that they all have in common is the high cost and long lead-time needed to develop a new platform. Car makers are therefore keen to get the most out of any new platform development. They either do this by keeping the platform for more than one generation of product or by making multiple products from the same platform, like the Jag and the Lincoln. In fact DEW98 survives today underneath the Jaguar XF, so they are really getting their money’s worth. It will finally be replaced later this year by an all aluminium replacement.
As Paul mentioned last month, the smaller X-type Jaguar was also on a shared platform, which it took from the first Ford Mondeo. In this case the motoring press liked to blame the relative lack of
success of the X-type on this borrowing of a lowly Ford platform. I say that this is male bovine droppings. The general car buyer neither knows nor cares where the platform under their car came from.
The X-type failed to meet its sales targets for a far more fundamental reason than that. It looked old fashioned! It was trying to target a new generation of cool and thrusting customers, but why
would these young and upwardly annoying types buy a car which looks like they had just started retirement? The people who typically bought the car were already Jaguar customers who were happy to
downsize into a smaller car, now that their nest was empty. This is not good business.
The X-type failed because it was the wrong product, not because of its shared platform. Don't believe me? Well how about this platform sharing fact which I have yet to see written about in the press. The ultra cool, modern, sales success that is the Range Rover Evoque is also on a shared platform. The press tell you that it is based on the Land Rover Freelander. This is true. The bit they don't mention is what platform it shared. Freelander was on the Ford EUCD platform (European C/D segment) which underpinned a couple of Volvos and, you've guessed it, the last - about to be replaced - Ford Mondeo. This does not ever figure in the minds of the trendy urbanite buyers for the Evoque.