The Jaguar I-Pace made headlines at the New York International Auto Show by winning the World Car of the Year Award, as well as the organization's awards for Design of the Year and Green Car of the Year. However, the I-Pace isn't winning where it counts: at the dealership.
The Jaguar all-electric crossover SUV has sold just 608 units in the U.S. through March plus another 393 late last year, according to Automotive News.
For its part, Jaguar says the I-Pace is off to a great start. However, the brand admits it is sending vehicles to where they are doing best.
"What we've been doing worldwide is allocating the cars to the markets that have the highest command and profitability. So the greatest opportunity for that at this point in time has been the Scandinavian countries," Dave Larsen, product and launch planning director for Jaguar Land Rover North America, told Green Car Reports.
Meanwhile, Jaguar has sold only 200-400 units per month in the U.S. even as the I-Pace earned recognition as the first vehicle from a luxury brand to take on Tesla at its own game.
2019 Jaguar I-Pace, photographed outside Tesla Store, Mount Kisco, NY
Larsen said the issue may be awareness. Jaguar is known for sports cars and sleek sedans, while Tesla has a well-earned reputation for almost single-handedly championing the electric car in the U.S.
"We just launched the car in October. We are about to kick off a marketing campaign to reinforce the capability and how it compares to the other vehicles in the segment," Larsen said.
A new marketing campaign this early in the introduction cycle doesn't usually bode well for sales.
For now, Larsen noted, there is no waiting list to get an I-Pace, which starts at $70,525 and has an official EPA range of 234 miles. The range is considerably lower than the Model X's 295 miles and numerous owners and journalists have found it hard to achieve the official number.
However, relief is in sight for Jaguar. Through its partnership with Waymo, Jaguar is contracted to build and sell 20,000 vehicles to the self-driving car company beginning in 2021.
As those vehicles hit on the road, will more buyers head to dealers to buy electric Jaguars? We'll have to wait and see.