Jaguars can’t leap when their paws are tied
Those Jaguar sale rumours just won’t stop. But in a country where Aston Martin has outsold Jaguar before—that’s right: Kiwis are more inclined to be James Bond than Inspector Morse—The Wall Street Journal’s report today that Ford may divest Jaguar is totally believable.
Pity: I believed Ford could make a go of it, if it were not for its own troubles, and the old Jag generation design approach. If anything, the XK8 sports car—the gorgeous one—heralded the next stage for Jaguar, hinting at exciting product on the way. The next S-type has already been previewed to dealers, who give the wedgier, forward-looking saloon a thumbs-up.
Alas, Jaguar is part of an American company that forces quarterly results for its shareholders, not long-term solutions. With all Ford units down Stateside, and being forced out of the US number-two spot by Toyota, Dearborn has pressed a panic switch.
Rather than look at creative ways out, it has reacted, like so many corporations will do when times are tough. Either increase sales or cut costs. And if Jag is bleeding, then Ford may not wish to treat skin cancers any more, but amputate. Bill Ford’s love of alternative energies, social responsibility and running Ford in an innovative way have had to take a back seat to the usual concerns of the board. Being a boss doesn’t always mean holding all the power.
Del.icio.us tags: Jaguar Ford Bill Ford management Wall Street shareholders corporations quarterly reporting vision Posted by Jack Yan, 14:20
Talking about cars. I really fancy Aston Martin. I learned most about that car from James Bond movies
# posted by charles ravndal: 8/02/2006 11:43:00 PM
I think Jag is bleeding because they were too conservative and slow to deliver. Believe lack of diesel was killing them in Europe. The styling dated quickly (X-type), looked dated at launch XJ) or just odd (S). The technology like the alloy construction is advanced but you'd never guess. The XK shows they are heading in the right direction, although Top Gear commented on some cheapo Ford bits. Maybe it's too late now Ford are struggling...
# posted by robincapper: 8/04/2006 12:46:00 PM
True on all counts, Robin. With respect to the late Geoff Lawson, his retro styling direction was faulty, and I sensed that at the time. The fact the X-type was a scaled-down XJ was sad—this was after Lawson gave interviews to say X, S and XJ would each have a different Jaguar ‘face’. Not true. Plus I had driven X and Mondeo back to back in 2003, and the cheaper Ford was a better performer and handler—it was also roomier, had a better ride and more direct and ﬁrm steering. I saw no reason to spend more on a Jag!
The cheap Ford bits have always been around these Ford group cars. I remember bits of Scorpio switchgear in the DB7, and from memory some indicator stalks and electric window controls in the Virage were shared with lesser Fords, too (I may be wrong there, but the headlights were from the Audi 200).
I hate to be the one to say "I told you so" but I did months ago. the new Gorgeous campaign did nothing for Jaguar sales.
Is it the advertising's fault? Somewhat. But the true blame lies within the hallways at Jaguar. Apart from the advertising incompetence they had no product, no plan and no idea how to revive that storied brand.
Gorgeous doesn't get it.
# posted by Anonymous: 8/05/2006 06:11:00 PM
Anonymous, point conceded given these dismal results, though I would aim the blame more at Jaguar itself, and its tarnished brand image that’s a starting-point for any campaign. (Incidentally, please do write with ‘I told you so’s—they are welcome.)Post a Comment
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