CO2 Regs Make Jaguar a Better Buy Than Land Rover?
First, T he Wall Street Journal reports that forthcoming European CO2 regs are casting a pall over Ford's sale of Jaguar and Land Rover. The European Union has announced its intention to reduce the new car CO2 levels by roughly 20% by 2012. As the British brands don't have more-fuel-efficient cars to offset their less-efficient models (i.e. all of them), potential suitors are worried that the new regs will price the automakers out of existence. Using that logic, Just-auto [sub] reports Management consultants Arthur D Little fancy Jag more than Landie. "While we do not foresee near- or mid-term legislation that would actually ban high footprint SUVs (chiefly due to the European job losses that would result) legislation will inevitably toughen. We consider this to threaten over half Land Rover's volume – only Range Rover and Defender are relatively secure… There is no alchemy involved in a Jaguar turnaround; good financial performance can be achieved through realigning the strategy with the brand values, leading to a lower volume (50-60,000 units a year), high gross margin business producing premium sporting saloons and grand tourers." Sounds like a plan to us.
so lets see some premium sporting saloons and grand tourers instead of the crap Jaguar's been spewing for the past 10 years 300 hp for $75,000 with mediocre handling and no manual transmission option?
A defender with a small deisel could easily get 30mpg plus. Jaguar may lose in this deal, but Lotus looks especially tasty right now.
The new XK is a pretty decent machine; but "cretinx" is right on the money: offer a manual transmission as an option for the true enthusiast, with six speeds forward. What Jaguar needs to do is capture the sense of sport which the leaping cat epitomized. True enough, those back-to-back LeMans wins are over 50 years ago. But as recently as the 1980s, Bob Tullius and Group 44 worked hard to ensure that Jaguar was synonymous with performance, as much as luxury. Maybe Jaguar could follow the lead of Lotus and build a smaller, lighter car that would be a true club racer; just to stir up some buzz around the marque again. That might give them time to engineer a fuel efficient sedan truly suitable for a world filled with the inconvenient truth.