Podcast: Jag and Landie Still Winners With Wynn-Williams

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

You've got to feel sorry for the Brits. Once home to some of the world's best– er, most charismatic vehicles, the country has seen their automotive crown jewels sold off to Johnny Foreigner and/or fade into the mists of time. With the disappearence of the once-proud MG Rover Group, it's no wonder that British automotive analyst Michael Wynn-Williams doesn't like the idea of Ford selling off Jaguar and Land Rover. In a recent white paper "Jaguar’s part in rescuing Ford," Trend Tracker's trend tracker said "Whoa! Slow down there Billy Boy! Why sell the family silver when you may want to throw a dinner party or two when things settle down a bit." OK, I'm paraphrasing. But Wynn-Williams' main point is there for the taking. So, I called-up WW and took it like a man.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Jerry weber Jerry weber on Aug 19, 2006

    How could ford succeed with Jag when it trashed it's own luxury division lincoln. Lincoln clawed itself to number one in the early 90' s in high dollar sales units in the us. Knocking off cadillac gave them the title when lexus bmw & benz weren't the 200,000 unit scale players they are today. So 200,000 lincolns won the race back then. Did ford reinvest in lincoln for the future? Did their redesigns making a torpedo shape town car out of a box shape win them awards? did the tarus based continental ever get traction? Finally did the LS deliver on it's promise? If any one or two of these questions could have been answered in the affirmative, lincoln could still be a player in the american luxury game. So to sum up: If you don't understand upscale cars here in the US how are you going to mount the world stage with Jaguar?

  • DaveClark DaveClark on Aug 20, 2006

    Jaguar needs a compelling model to match its compelling price point. And the LAST thing a person should consider is reliability on a $60k car, but unfortunately, it should be among the FIRST concern of a buyer. Finally, poor resale makes for an equally poor buying decision. When I see a Jag on the road, I try to glimpse the driver..I'm just curious is all. Jaguar has enough history in its badge to give it hope for a renaissance. I just have no confidence in the people manning the controls today. Sell it to someone who knows how to build a premium car, and all that goes along with THAT.

  • Camp6ell Camp6ell on Aug 22, 2006

    i like mw-w - he came across very well. maybe he can be your uk correspondent, bobby?

  • DarkOneForce DarkOneForce on Aug 24, 2006
    Ford decided to make Jaguar into a full-fledged luxury brand that competes with M-B, BMW, and Lexus in all segments. This was a very bold move. If executed well, the payoff could be comparable to the payoffs of the Japanese vendors who created their luxury divisions from scratch. Ford certainly had the money and the technology to do it, but somehow something didn’t go well. Perhaps they didn’t invest enough to make it happen or perhaps it was a marketing failure. Yes, they did something wrong along the way but do recognize that turning Jaguar into a mainstream luxury brand was a huge gamble and undertaking for Ford. The way things stand now, Jaguar seems to have a great model lineup with even more cars coming soon but the economies of scale are keeping them in red, and Ford doesn’t want to continue sinking billions of dollars into such a risky project. Perhaps, it would make sense to keep Jaguar if Ford didn’t also own another global luxury brand: Volvo. It’s also naive to believe that Jaguar could survive as an independent brand. The economies of scale in the car industry are such that it seems like even brands like Volvo and Saab are too small to survive on their own. Some technologies had become prohibitively too expensive to obtain. For example, Saab can’t afford to invest the same amount of money into designing 9-3 as BMW in 3-series because BMW can resonably expect to sell 250K 3-series bimmers/year while Saab will sell 50K 9-3s/year tops. Porsche seems to stand as the only counter-argument to my theory. Perhaps, they’re being run by geniouses or something. It happens. If that’s true, then expect something surprising to happen once they take over VW. 1. I don't see it as a bold move, but as the only move (Porsche back then was almost dead, and only MB and BMW could have been considered succes stories). Besides, Ford has tried for quite a while to buy BMW. 2. While Ford's idea was good, the execution was bad. The X-Type udearneath an european Mondeo, S Type a Lincoln. FWD V6 Jaguar ?! Destined to fail. And they were always late (diesels, AWD, wagons, no hatchbacks, no SUVs). 3. Stop with Lexus non-sense, outside the USA they're not_on_the_radar for most markets. Besides they were in the 1990s by SUVs witch until recentily represented way over 50% of their sales. No since up to date Jag doesn't have SUVs, the Lexus comparison doesn't work. 4. The E46 3er sold at its peak over 560K units per year. Worst was over 400 K units per year. Sales figures between 200k and 250k are for the 5 series. 5. Volvo was the only one making profits, to let it go would be stupid. 6. Porsche are Porsche. The thing if margins are right and you partners you can survive. For that matter, BMW themselves don't have right number to be alive in theory.