Jaguar May Soon Be Sold
|Topics: Jaguar, Ford Motor Company
August 23, 2007
Ford is in the middle of a turnaround plan that includes shutting down plants and reducing the number of workers they employ to cut down on costs. The ultra luxury brand Aston Martin has been sold by the automaker too. And more recently, it was the two British brands Jaguar and Land Rover being auctioned off by the Dearborn-based automaker.
Due to the declining sales for Ford, the company is looking to bolster its sagging coffers by selling its prestigious brands. Jaguar is a logical choice as it is considered to be having the worst performance in the market of all the luxury brands owned by the company which includes Volvo in the line up. With the impending sale of Jaguar and Land Rover, one issue that has surfaced is whether Jaguar can recover its former glory days when it is considered as one of the best brands out there.
The British marque has been owned by Ford since 1989. And this ownership is expected only to last before the end of the year. There have been rumors that as early as this week, Ford cut the shortlist of possible buyers of the two brands to just two bidders out of several which have expressed their interest in acquiring the brands. It is now expected that by the end of next month, Ford will be finalizing the sale of the two British brands and both Jaguar and Land Rover will be starting anew.
In the past, Ford tried a hand in the production of luxury cars. The automaker created the Premiere Automotive Group (PAG) which is the portfolio of the automaker containing luxury brands such as Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, and Lincoln. Unfortunately for Ford, PAG has been a disaster and the Swedish brand Volvo is the only consistent moneymaker of all these PAG brands. And it is widely believed that Jaguar sits on the other end of the spectrum.
From the time of acquisition until last year, Ford has poured in $5 billion to the brand but the brand has posted loss after loss for the most part of the 18 years that Ford owned the marque. Although Jaguar has been plagued about the reliability of their cars, the brand has made improvements on this aspect in the past as a step to attract the attention of auto buyers. Auto parts such as Jaguar clutches among a host of many others are engineered to perform well even through years of use.
Unfortunately for Ford, this effort failed to increase sale for the marque. Then the automaker tried to shift its market target. In the past, Jaguar vehicles are manufactured in small volumes. But Ford wanted to compete with the BMW 3 Series. So they developed the Jaguar X-Type - the Jag that more consumers can afford. The use of styling and platform from non-luxury brands though was not appreciated by consumers. This resulted to Ford losing a lot of money on the Jaguar X-Type venture. With the sale of the brands, one question stands out from the rest. And that is when Jaguar can once again claim its throne on the top of its class.
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