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Another fine mess
decision to look for a buyer for Jaguar and Land Rover is the latest sign that the turnaround at the world's third-biggest carmaker is not going well

AFTER some huffing and puffing Alan Mulally, the chief executive brought in from Boeing to rescue Ford, has decided to get what he can for the firm's two British premium brands, Jaguar and Land Rover. The news trickled out this week after a meeting between Ford executives and British politicians. Although Ford's official position remains that it is simply exploring all its options, it has appointed three banks, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and HSBC, to flush out potential buyers. Fiat, an Italian car group, was tempted by Land Rover but pulled out of negotiations last month when it was warned how such a purchase would sully its credit rating.

THE ECONOMIST
 

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All I can say is that Ford should give Jaguar one last try,in the past I wanted Ford to sell but **** in 20 years Jag has not had any product I would buy and now that there is great designs coming now they are going to sell them, I know Ford is not in a good shape financially but **** lets give the Cat one more chance I think that Jag can made a resurgance like Cadillac has done, and I dont know why Ford didnt use one of their closing plants here in the States to build PAG products cheaper than in the UK for export,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I dont know why Ford didnt use one of their closing plants here in the States to build PAG products cheaper than in the UK for export,
you forget that all Fords problems relate to its bloated labor bills here is the US
 

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you forget that all Fords problems relate to its bloated labor bills here is the US

Well, not all. Jag's pitiful sales and incredible capital drain can hardly be blamed on the UAW. The UAW didn't decide to buy Jaguar in the first place. It didn't design the Five Hundred or decide to abandon the Taurus name. It didn't design the Blackwood. It didn't green light the GT at the expense of other, more important programs. It didn't hire Jac Nasser.

The UAW is no group of angels. But it's not fair, or even right, to blame labor for everything.
 

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All I can say is that Ford should give Jaguar one last try,in the past I wanted Ford to sell but **** in 20 years Jag has not had any product I would buy and now that there is great designs coming now they are going to sell them, I know Ford is not in a good shape financially but **** lets give the Cat one more chance I think that Jag can made a resurgance...
YUP +1

a year or so ago is when the tide turned
 

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Well, not all. Jag's pitiful sales and incredible capital drain can hardly be blamed on the UAW. The UAW didn't decide to buy Jaguar in the first place. It didn't design the Five Hundred or decide to abandon the Taurus name. It didn't design the Blackwood. It didn't green light the GT at the expense of other, more important programs. It didn't hire Jac Nasser.

The UAW is no group of angels. But it's not fair, or even right, to blame labor for everything.
I pretty much agree with this post. Most of the American auto industry problems are self inflicted, even those that are blamed on healthcare costs, as it was the lack of vision of the auto leaders then.

Of the list of Ford mistakes I would delete the GT program which cost is the equivalent of a drop in the bucket and created an American automotive masterpiece like none other.

About the article itself is just another compilation of problems and facts that are neither new nor definitive and coming from where its coming is easy to see it for what it is. Another pressure tool to try Ford to get rid of LR and Jaguar. Nothing new and quite frankly I would have to question the title with which is presented here as the article simply deals with The Economist which is Land Rover and Jaguar and does not question Mullaly's efforts as a whole or anywhere else.
 

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I pretty much agree with this post. Most of the American auto industry problems are self inflicted, even those that are blamed on healthcare costs, as it was the lack of vision of the auto leaders then.

Of the list of Ford mistakes I would delete the GT program which cost is the equivalent of a drop in the bucket and created an American automotive masterpiece like none other.

About the article itself is just another compilation of problems and facts that are neither new nor definitive and coming from where its coming is easy to see it for what it is. Another pressure tool to try Ford to get rid of LR and Jaguar. Nothing new and quite frankly I would have to question the title with which is presented here as the article simply deals with The Economist which is Land Rover and Jaguar and does not question Mullaly's efforts as a whole or anywhere else.

I agree that the title was totally misrepresntative of the story, talk about a sensationalistic reach.

As for the main source of the domestic manufacturer's problems, each and every decision is not made in a vacuum totally isolated from everything else. Every decision was made with overall considerations and concerns or problems, which was predominantly legacy, healthcare and labor costs.

ALso, contrary to many people's opinions Ford did not just sit still through the 90's and force-feed SUV's down peoples throats. Recall how the 2.5/3.0L DOHC engines were ver competitive when they appeared in the early 90's. Remember the controversial Taurus design in the mid 90's? Remember the performance versions? I recall the total price tag for Ford's Contour/Mystique mid-size cars was criticized for costing billions as they tried hard back in the mid 90's. The late 90's brought us the best compact ever in the Focus - record recalls aside. It was so good then that it still won comparo's until recently with only mild freshenings and they never gave up on improving it's quality. Sure, there is always room for more improvement, but Ford did not just sit still with their cars.

What I really get a kick out of is how suddenly everyone's hindsight vision is 20/20 regarding the Taurus name decision. Look how quickly everyone is jumping on their perch, squawking how Ford F'd up again. Who could truly predict that Ford would not market the new Five Hundred enough since 2004 to help overcome the negative legacy that the Taurus name had in so many peoples minds at the time. Not every name should stay. I would hate to see the name Escort return for example.
 

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Wingnut, you have to admit that Ford N.A. past priorities has been in their profit generating trucks. Yes Ford did offer up some decent cars, but the problem was that they let these cars either whither on the vine, or decontent them so much, consumer interest was decontented as well.

In the last 6-7 years whenever the discussion came up among co-workers or friends regarding shopping for a new car, Focus, Taurus, FiveHundred were very seldom mentioned, and if they were mentioned, it was usually a negative comment.

Hopefully Ford N.A. has changed this fault and will keep improving current vehicles such as the Fusion, Edge etc.
 

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I agree we should give Jag another shot, but bring it to the US and take one of those closed Ford plants and build it here. This will allow Ford to lower the price of the vehicles and come up with a new fresh designed. Face it the design has not changed in 100 years and the cars look old and tired. Build it here and lower your cost Ford.
 

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Wingnut, you have to admit that Ford N.A. past priorities has been in their profit generating trucks. Yes Ford did offer up some decent cars, but the problem was that they let these cars either whither on the vine, or decontent them so much, consumer interest was decontented as well.

In the last 6-7 years whenever the discussion came up among co-workers or friends regarding shopping for a new car, Focus, Taurus, FiveHundred were very seldom mentioned, and if they were mentioned, it was usually a negative comment.

Hopefully Ford N.A. has changed this fault and will keep improving current vehicles such as the Fusion, Edge etc.
Name me a company that does NOT prioritize profits please!!!!!!

In the 90's, Ford continued to do what they always did best - make great trucks, sell a lot of them and turn a great profit. Anyone would want to be in that position. But do recall how sedan sales were getting smaller due to other, newer consumer preferences. Sure, Ford could have spent even more development $$$ on sedans, but they were watching SUV's and minivans fly off their lots in the 90's in record numbers (while gas was sooo cheap) and they were happy to keep supplying them and did, and any business would have done the same thing - contrary to what gets quoted from the media.

Why does this simple fact elude so many people? Possibly because most people don't read beyond the catchy headlines. Ford did not just suddenly gut-react to sudden price increases from just a few years ago. Contrary. They focused research money much earlier than people know or think it seems, and lots of it. I know because I was involved with technologies like clean-Diesel, alternative fuels and Hybrids in the early-to-mid-90's. I recall reading that Ford was spending more on TOTAL alternative technologies than anyone else, and nobody every refuted that claim.

So 1998 was the year that cars we see today were finally given the green light, like the Mustang, Five Hundred and Montego, and the following year marked the beginning of the Fusion triplets. 4-5 years of development time later, Ford was off to a good start with great sedans, getting better all the time. What I see coming in the very near future is considerably nicer as well.

That's all I know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
GM now controls 60% or more of the SUV market in North America. No one is complaining. I think Ford did the right thing for its shareholder, now they need to strengthen their car line up, the Flex etc..
Meanwhile, Gas prices Will come down. This is not the end
:D
 

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GM now controls 60% or more of the SUV market in North America.
Although I an not doubting that fact I find it rather curious, to say the least, since Ford still makes the best selling SUV, the Ford Explorer, the Escape outsells the Equinox, Torrance and VUE combined and the Expedition is having very healthy sales. Is that a 60% a documented fact or a guesstimate?
 

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Name me a company that does NOT prioritize profits please!!!!!!

But do recall how sedan sales were getting smaller due to other, newer consumer preferences. Sure, Ford could have spent even more development $$$ on sedans, but they were watching SUV's and minivans fly off their lots .
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Exactly, all the eggs in one basket, hence loss of market share in the car sector.

2009 and onward will be interesting to see how FoA is doing in the "car" segment.
I'd say its rather important.
 

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Exactly, all the eggs in one basket, hence loss of market share in the car sector.

2009 and onward will be interesting to see how FoA is doing in the "car" segment.
I'd say its rather important.

My remarks earlier, listed how Ford did NOT put "all their eggs in one basket." How did you miss that? I enumerated some of their car efforts in an effort to prove that fact. I also mentioned how they needed to do more. But that's a far cry from "all" their eggs.
 

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I agree we should give Jag another shot, but bring it to the US and take one of those closed Ford plants and build it here. This will allow Ford to lower the price of the vehicles and come up with a new fresh designed. Face it the design has not changed in 100 years and the cars look old and tired. Build it here and lower your cost Ford.

I don't think Ford has, or wants to spend, the buckets of money it would take to revamp a factory in the US for Jaguar production. Besides, Jag has been so long identified in the global market as very English. It would be n even tougher sell if they were suddenly built here.

I agree with you opinion on design. I've always thought that this was chiefly to blame for Jaguars current plight. They are excellent cars and rank very high in quality surveys, so it must be the overly retro nature of their appearance. This is all with the exception of the XKR, of course. It seems to strike that careful balance of modernity and heritage.
 

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My remarks earlier, listed how Ford did NOT put "all their eggs in one basket." How did you miss that? I enumerated some of their car efforts in an effort to prove that fact. I also mentioned how they needed to do more. But that's a far cry from "all" their eggs.
You make some very valid points.

Not sure is Mr.Mulally would except these points, as he states in an article "Mulally considers one of Ford's major problems: the tendency of employees to rationalize mistakes instead of fixing them. "We seek to be understood more than we seek to understand," he observes."


Bill Fords comments sums up what I am trying to say
"The company's complacency shows up in the very language it uses internally to rate its own models. It uses the designations "L" for Leader, "AL" for Among Leaders, and "C" for Competitive. Too many executives simply strive for Cs, says William C. "Bill" Ford Jr., executive chairman of the board.
 

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You make some very valid points.

Not sure is Mr.Mulally would except these points, as he states in an article "Mulally considers one of Ford's major problems: the tendency of employees to rationalize mistakes instead of fixing them. "We seek to be understood more than we seek to understand," he observes."


Bill Fords comments sums up what I am trying to say
"The company's complacency shows up in the very language it uses internally to rate its own models. It uses the designations "L" for Leader, "AL" for Among Leaders, and "C" for Competitive. Too many executives simply strive for Cs, says William C. "Bill" Ford Jr., executive chairman of the board.
And you make some good points too.
I think AM came from a product manufacturing culture that was so different and so NOT used to the constant criticism that Ford has seen lately. People board a huge Boeing plane and are simply wowed. It is much more difficult to compare and contrast their end-products. Their engineers never had to face the same constant scrutiny that us Ford employees have faced lately, which helps explain some of our tendency for rationalization. Human nature. AM was smart to point that out though.

Would my remarks have been better recieved if I agreed that Ford did place all it's eggs in one basket in the 90's? That would then mean that they never tried or upgraded any of their car line. That would also mean the Taurus was not heavily modified or that Ford did not develop world class V6 engines (2.5/3.0) or that it did not try hard with the over-budgeted Contour/Mystique sedans or that the Focus never existed either.
 

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Let's not forget that, amidst all the hoopla within the Big 3 over trucks, Toyota and Honda stayed focused on their core market - family sedans. They did recognize the potential of the truck market but took the time to enter it carefully and without sacrificing investment in their core products.

It's no coincidence that the Big 3 are now chasing both companies for customer loyalty in the mainstream automobile segments while now also playing defense in the truck segments.

Ford, GM, and Chrysler have to balance their development priorities better and then follow up with truly customer-centric, innovative designs that can be sold at competitive prices through channels that treat the customer like someone to be courted rather than fleeced.
 

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Toyota and Honda both entered the same profitable and very popular SUV/CUV segments after seeing how successful it was for GM and Ford. Now, Toyota also is trying it's hardest to enter the very profitable full size truck segment and is having a rather difficult time it seems. They need big spiffs to sell them.

Ford and GM have balanced their "development priorities" just fine recently and are starting to offer far more exciting and innovative designs than Toyota and Honda. But that was never a problem, just look at their (Japanese designs) boring designs.
 

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I own and manage an aftermarket truck and auto accessories retail store, so I have some perspective on the market. Toyota got unlucky with the timing of the new Tundra introduction, coinciding as it did with the rise in gas prices. However, we are seeing former Ford, Chevy, and Dodge owners showing up in new Tacoma's and Tundras.

In spite of the development investment Toyota made in the Tundra (including building a new plant to produce it) and the similar investment by Honda in the Ridgeline, neither company allowed their sedan lines to get overly long in the tooth.

By contrast, look how aged the Taurus was when the 500 replaced it. The SN95 Mustang platform dated back to 1979 when it was replaced in 2005 by the new Mustang.

The Ranger has had no significant development for the past four or five years, if I recall correctly.

The Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria were treated as cash cows for how many years?

That neglect of model families has never occured within the Toyota or Honda product lines yet they have been able to develop new trucks that the domestics ignore only at their peril.

After resisting customer requests for so long, does anyone think it's coincidence that the F-150 is finally getting a diesel? Ford knew that Toyota would get there first if given the chance, but why did it take that threat for Ford to respond?
 
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