QOTD: The Worst Examples of Automotive Cooperation?

qotd the worst examples of automotive cooperation

Automakers are keen to pursue partnerships with one another when it means saving money via economies of scale, or when it supports an established corporate structure. Whether it’s in the form of some basic components-sharing or a more intensive joint venture, today we want to hear about the worst possible examples of automotive cooperation.

Today’s question was a suggestion from commenter ToolGuy a few weeks back on the QOTD post about awful Nineties design from Asia. He wanted to discuss the good and bad outcomes of joint ventures. We’re opening the field up to general cooperation as well, discussing the worst ones first (per standard operating procedure).

Warning, a piece of poo incoming:

The Jaguar X-Type was a great example of automaker collaboration gone horribly wrong. As a key eventual component of the Premier Automotive Group, Jaguar was subject to the whims of Ford between 1989 and 2008. Some of Ford’s orders were most beneficial to Jaguar: Vastly improved quality control and dollars invested in updated manufacturing processes. The flagship XJ in particular reaped the benefits of Ford’s ownership.

At the other end of the spectrum was the X-Type.

Circa 2000, Jaguar had an entry-level sedan-shaped hole in its lineup when compared to most every other European automaker. Ford saw an opportunity in the Mondeo, which was already popular and selling well across Europe. “Go,” Ford said, “and make this a very luxurious compact for not much money.” Jaguar was forced to comply. The X-Type went on sale for model year 2001, a year after its brother’s third-gen arrival across Europe.

Though it was successful from a sales perspective when compared to more expensive Jaguar offerings, it never met the projected figure of 100,000 sales per year. Instead, it achieved around 350,000 sales total in its run through the 2009 model year. The X-Type’s interior had an air of imitation luxury, which paired nicely with reliability issues. Engine problems, transmission failures, fluid leaks, overheating — oh my! An okay Ford ended up a fairly bad Jaguar, harming the brand’s reputation as X-Types littered BHPH lots within three or four years from new.

Off to you in the comments; let’s hear about the worst in cooperative efforts.

[Images: GM, Jaguar]

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  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.
  • Daniel J I believe anyone, at any level, should get paid as much as the market will bear. Why should CEOs have capped salaries or compensation but middle management shouldn't? If companies support poor CEOs and poor CEOs keep getting rewarded, it's up to the consumer and investors to force that company to either get a better CEO or to reduce the salary of that CEO. What I find hilarious is that consumers will continue to support companies where the pay for the CEOs is very high. And the same people complain. I stopped buying from Amazon during the pandemic. Everyone happily buys from them but the CEO makes bank. Same way with Walmart and many other retailers. Tim Cook got 100m in compensation last year yet people line up to buy Iphones. People who complain and still buy the products must not really care that much.
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