Remember the joke about Jaguars in the 1980s; that you needed two—one to drive while the other one was in the shop. Jag has certainly come a long way in quality. Not only does it score well in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study, but it topped Power’s ranking of brands for Sales Satisfaction when it comes to dealer service.
It’s worth mentioning this since buyers are lining up to take Jaguar off Ford’s hands. The brand, despite the good service score, has long been killing Ford with losses. Ford has become Jag weary, trying to make the Brit brand profitable after almost 20 years of ownership. Plus, CEO Alan Mulally sees it, and Land Rover, as distractions to fixing Ford.. Also…he doesn’t want to start fixing the company, get some earnings momentum in 2009-2010, and then have some wacky British labor problem or a further weakened dollar zap his earnings down the road.
Jaguar ranks highest with an overall CSI score of 925 points on a 1,000-point scale—13 points above the top CSI performer in 2006—improving considerably among repair customers in the areas of service quality and service initiation. Following Jaguar in the rankings are Buick (918) and Cadillac and Lexus (913, in a tie).
Whoever winds up buying Jag-Land Rover will have a devil of a time coming up with regular earnings. Maybe the likes of Cerberus or a private equity firm featuring former Ford CEO Jacques Nasser has an idea about how to put the brand on new rails. But at least one thing seems clear. People no longer need two Jags to enjoy the brand, even if that would help sales.