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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