I just received this thoughtful analysis of what India’s Tata should do to revive Jaguar. It’s the best I’ve seen anywhere. Check it out. And thanks Barrett.
“This purchase should prove a new era for the two brands. I worked for both companies in the U.K., and times were dismal under Ford ownership, for Jaguar especially. I remember when Ford cut funding for the F-type how dismal morale was at Jaguar. They decided to allocate those funds towards the development of the TDV6 diesel with Peugeot/Citroen. Although a worthwhile pursuit, axing the F-type was the last straw for many veteran employees at Jag, an almost wholly British development. It just goes to show how a shortsighted, accountant run entity has no business overseeing such brands. Alternatively, Land Rover is proving quite profitable and successful. I absolutely attribute this fact to BMW’s brief ownership, an entity more or less run by engineers. They spent billions of pounds on the facilities in Solihull (the current Range Rover production line is a thing of beauty in fact). In addition, quality of component manufacturers is also key to product success. The current Range Rover is a definite worthy competitor to the best in the industry b/c a large portion of it’s components are produced by BMW part suppliers, much higher quality than any company supplying Ford’s production.
Land Rover has been spared much of the problems Jaguar has faced due to the fact that many of the new models share components with Volvos (e.g., Freelander 2 or LR2). In addition, perhaps realising that BMW has put forth most of the effort to bring Land Rover up to specs, Ford allocated around $1 billion for Land Rover to develop the Discovery 3 (LR3) and Range Rover Sport, which have proven quite successful. This sum is necessary for developing a viable new platform. Compare this arrangement to the less than 200 million dollars Jaguar received for developing the X-type, an all around failure, rubbish of a car. How could we expect Jaguar to produce a viable, new platform to compete against market leaders like the 3-series, using components from substandard suppliers through Ford’s network? It’s an impossible feat as we have seen.
It can naturally be assumed that BMW part suppliers are far superior in quality to those of Ford’s choosing, considering BMW produces luxury cars, and Ford doesn’t. For Ford to expect the public to continually pay luxury car prices for a car produced with substandard components is ludicrous. It has just taken them almost a decade to realise their mistake (since the debut of the S-type, another rubbish car). The first thing Tata should do for these two brands is cut ties with any Ford supplier as fast as possible, and seek out the suppliers of their main competitors: BMW, Mercedes, and Audi, only then will Jaguar and Land Rover truly have the means to compete in the long term. The success of Land Rover over the past 5 or so years and the continual failure of Jaguar are living proof of this fact: COMPONENT QUALITY AND PROPER INVESTMENT LEAD TO SUCCESS.”