Monday, 28 January 2008

That explains a lot

Today's FT has an interview with Jaguar's design boss Ian Callum about the prospect of the company being taken over by the Indian group Tata. While he is not particularly critical of Jaguar's current owner, Ford, he does let slip a real gem:

"Offering a rare insight into events at the British luxury carmaker following its purchase by Ford for $1.4bn in 1989, Mr Callum indicated that there had frequently been tensions in the relationship. He disclosed that, in spite of Jaguar management denials at the time, the X-Type small Jaguar – sales of which have fallen far below expectations – was essentially designed in Detroit and presented as close to a fait accompli to reluctant designers and engineers at Jaguar’s Whitley design centre, near the Midlands city of Coventry."

It will be interesting to see what happens to the X-Type once the links to Ford have been cut. It's no secret that sales have been far lower than the company had originally hoped for but I recall reading that the X-Type's financial numbers don't look anything like as bad as they used to now capacity utilisation at the Halewood plant is much higher following the decision to switch Freelander production there with the introduction of the latest model.

1 comment:

Fourwheelsteer said...

Interesting stuff. All the stuff I've read/heard about Jaguar's future model plans suggests that there won't be a direct X-type replacement. Of course that was all before the sell-off.

I think the X-type was a massive wasted opportunity for Jaguar. A small sporting/luxury saloon at an affordable price should have had people queueing round the block at Jaguar dealers.