QOTD: The Worst Examples of Automotive Cooperation?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
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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  • TheEndlessEnigma GM, Ford and Stellantis have significant oversupply of product sitting on dealer lots and banked up in holding yards across the country. Big 3 management is taking advantage of UAW's action to bring their inventories inline to what they deem reasonable. When you have models pushing 6 months of supply having your productions lines shut down by a strike is not something that's going to worry you. UAW does not have any advantages here, but they are directly impacting the financial well being of their membership. Who will be the first to blink? Those UAW members waving the signs around and receiving "strike pay" that is, what, 20% of their wages? UAW is screwing up this time around.
  • CEastwood Seven mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight for oil changes and such and the thicker heavy duty gripper gloves from Wally World for most everything else . Hell we used to use no gloves for any of that and when we did it was usually the white cloth gloves bought by the dozen or the gray striped cuff ones for heavy duty use . Old man rant over , but I laugh when I see these types of gloves in a bargain bin at Home Cheapo for 15 bucks a pair !
  • Not Previous Used Car of the Day entries that spent decades in the weeds would still be a better purchase than this car. The sucker who takes on this depreciated machine will learn the hard way that a cheap German car is actually a very expensive way to drive around.
  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks