This is not a popular view but here goes. In the United States, some Jaguar dealers are upset that the Ford-owned unit will go to an Indian company.
Never mind that Tata is solvent and can afford greater investments on the cars. Never mind that Tata owns Corus—British Steel to us oldies. Never mind that Tata has promised to keep UK manufacturing jobs for both brands.
No, these dealers are upset probably because Indians are not white. Not part of the old world or the new world, but, oh my goodness, they have different skin colour.
European dealers are reportedly more relaxed as the most important element is not where the parent company is based.
No one in American retail ever seems upset that Donna Karan is part of French conglomerate LVMH or that Stella McCartney is part of Gucci. No American consumer seems to jump up and down at the thought that Lamborghini and Bentley are owned by Volkswagen.
These parent companies are well capitalized, have good management and a long history—just like the Tata Group.
Sure Tata does not have a history of managing luxury brands, but did Toyota have one when it created Lexus?
And when it comes to consumers, people are still going to buy Jags and Land Rovers for exactly the same reasons as before.
For years, no one batted an eyelid when these brands were American-owned. They were still considered English and never American, and that’s not going to change in 2008.
It sounds like a few dealers don’t understand their consumers very well, motivated by some redneck element that’s hardly representative of Americans in general.
They’d better give up wearing their preppy Polo Ralph Lauren at their country clubs then. ‘Polo? Ain’t that some kinda Injun game?’ Posted by Jack Yan, 09:06
Jack, with all due respect I think the hypothesis is flawed.
Not so very long ago the U.S. had a little contretemps with the resourceful, resourceless nation called Japan. The Americans weren't very nice to their opponents. The propaganda and cartoons were appallingly racist. But somehow all was forgiven. Honda, Toyota, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Dahaitsu are all household names in the U.S (o.k. maybe not Daihatsu). In the sixties the mood had only begun to change. Jerry Della Femmina wrote a book called 'From those wonderful people who brought you Pearl Harbor' - referring to his proposed pitch to Panasonic. If the Americans have the issue with race that you imply I'd find it impossible to understand their fetish for Lexus cars - or why they never really went for Renault, but have no issue with Nissan (virtually one and the same). Time will tell I suppose. Personally I wouldn't ever have wanted a Jag built by the Poms,… rather have a Hindustan.I think Americans are more pragmatic.
Perhaps reading this post with my earlier one on the topic would make more sense and covers some of your ground. The perceptions will shift, but right now they are s founded on race and a negative nation-brand image. Note, too, that I refer to a select bunch of dealers being out of step, not American consumers in general, the majority of whom do not have a problem with race.
Hi Jack. I was dismayed when I got to know that some of the US Ford dealers are against Tatas' buying of Jag and LR for, of all reasons, skin color ! I'd have rather expected it from the more conservative Europeans. I wonder if there's something else that may have upset those dealers... after all Tata Motors is not a pedigreed automobile maker, was better known for their dated commercial vehicles produced primarily for India - not long back, and has never been known for managing or making any luxe mark or high-technology cars unlike Toyota or Volkswagen. Some people even raise concern [over quality issues] that Tata Motors may have looked at the lucrative component making opportunity for Jag and LR, but skin color !!! ...and that too from US ? Oh no, what would those dealers do if Barack Obama becomes the next Prez ?
Rohan, I am only guessing at this. It’s just a potential issue I want to raise, to get people thinking about why these complaints have come from those dealers.Post a Comment
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