Ford should consider selling Volvo rather than Jaguar and Land Rover as part of the strategic review of its business, according to a leading automotive analyst.
Trend Tracker analyst Michael Wynn-Williams says that Jaguar and Land Rover would face a bleak future if sold. He says: “For Ford to let Jaguar and Land Rover go now would be the beginning of the end for both brands.”
Earlier this month Ford appointed former Wall Street investment banker Kenneth Leet to assess all its marques. Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin, which make up Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, are the key brands under the spotlight as part of the review.
A research white paper by Wynn-Williams argues that Jaguar’s “once provocative design has been thrown away in a disastrous attempt to resurrect obsolete styling cues”. He says Ford could cut costs by moving production to the US, Jaguar’s biggest market.
It has been suggested that Ford may offer Land Rover to tempt potential buyers into bidding for Jaguar. But Wynn-Williams adds: “Using Land Rover to enhance a deal would do nothing to make Jaguar more attractive and would deprive Ford of two premium brands and not one.”
Jaguar has hinted it could abandon moves into the mass market with its X-Type (MW last week). Corporate and governmental affairs director Don Hume told Marketing Week: “A smaller, more focused Jaguar is where we are heading.”