WSJ: Tata's Kindler, Gentler Takeover of Jaguar and Land Rover
Anyone remember Chevy Chase's immortal line "Francisco Franco is still dead?" I'll wait until the Tata purchase of Ford's Jaguar and Land Rover brands goes through– if it does– before using Chase's riff. Meanwhile, Tata is launching some kind of weird-ass PR offensive. The Wall Street Journal [sub] is carrying a [s]press release[/s] feature story on Tata's "hands-off" acquisition style. Apparently, the Indian way of such things, in general, is to "Do next to nothing." The evidence for such patent rubbish? Tata didn't throw management overboard when they acquired the U.K.-based Corus Group and Tetley Tea. Oh, and apparently Tata won't be outsourcing. "During a London meeting with Tata Motors executives in November, Mr. Maddison [Unite union rep] recalls, 'We came straight down and said 'We've obviously got fears that you've got a massive component base across Asia. Would it be your intention to source from Asia into the U.K.?'' They hit it straight back and told us 'No way.'" Dude, get it in writing. [thanks to Robert Schwartz for the link]
So if their plan is to "do next to nothing" does that mean they're going to just let Jag and Land Rover go out of business?
The E-type in the pic is correct. Jaguar is dead. It died with Sir William a long time ago. They haven't built a uniquely "Jaguar" car since the XJS, and really haven't built any truly great cars since the E-type. British-Leyland wounded Jaguar starting in 1967. The Unions and Sir William's departure inflicted the coup de grace not long after. Ford purchased a corpse. Sure, they pumped some life into it, but it was still a corpse. Tarted up Fords are not Jaguars. Mr. Maddison would do well to realize that history and recognize his sort's role in it. If Tata takes some or all of the Zombie, er Jaguar production elsewhere it'll be Just Desserts. --chuck http://chuck.goolsbee.org