Ford Says “Tata” to Jaguar, Land Rover Page 3

March 26, 2008

To make sense of its new acquisitions, Tata will need to pump plenty of resources into Jaguar and Land Rover. There’s no question the company has money, lots of it, though it is little more than a wannabe when it comes to engineering and design assets. The good news is that the British brands have developed plenty of skills that they’ll take with them. Meanwhile, Ford has agreed to continue providing powertrains and other support, once the sale is formalized. And in today’s globalized auto industry, still more know-how is available from suppliers, if you have the financial resources of a Tata.

That leaves Ford. Though its remaining Volvo brand plays into the lower end of the luxury market, Ford is no longer a serious player, at least on a worldwide level. Its high-line Lincoln brand is struggling to make a comeback in the U.S., but it is an unknown outside North America. New Ford marketing czar Jim Farley has suggested Lincoln might extend its reach – but only after it can rebound in the States, a process that could take years. So, with today’s announcement, Ford has effectively retrenched still further, abandoning the grand vision of becoming a global player covering every segment of the world market.

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