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Hyundai wants Jaguar. Good idea?

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    With the fierce competition in the 21st century, seems to me every brand needs a very very strong identity. Selling luxury cars in America was like shooting ducks in a barrel in 1965, but not now, no sir....

    I mean, what IS a Jaguar anymore? Does one instantly say "sports car!" ....I don't think so...."world class" (dominant, without peer, etc.) luxury car? Well, .....not really....."enthustiasts sport sedan"....nooooo.....

    So where it is in people's minds? It's kind of mushy, don't you think?

    MODERATOR

  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Ford defn. mis-managed, right from the start of this relationship. If big-time money losing and steep declining sales aren't indicators, then the departure of Wolfgang Reitzle was a big mistake - at least he did a few things. And what exactly has anyone else besides him done anything to make the Jag brand better? Bill Ford? Not really. Yes, before Ford purchased the brand, Jag was really bad with outdated products...fast forward to present, Ford has not exactly done much to make it better. Forget profitability, just breaking even would have saved some face. Anyway, at the beginning, Ford had envisioned Jag being somewhat of a volume brand, but since then has switched and calling it a niche brand - um, I wonder why the change (sarcasm).

    If Hyundai decided this is not the way to go (and as we speak, they have done exactly that), then all power to Hyundai. The company has so much going for them right now, and the future is looking ever so bright...my take is that acquiring Jag, for example, won't help the company to improve any faster/better than on its own. Hyundai has come a long way, and is in hot pursuit to become as one of the top five automakers in the world (now sixth behind GM, Toyota, Ford, VW, and DCX).

    Good luck Jag/Ford!!

    PS: Does anyone think Ford should consolidate Lincoln and Mercury? It makes no sense to me having two brands with almost identical lineup.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Jaguar's "problem" is that they thought they could go head to head with MB/BMW in volume. A Jaguar is an aquired taste that will never be able to go big volume like those German marques. I've always felt that a Jaguar was literally too much of a styling exercise to drive everyday. It is one of those cars that gets attention even when you're merely trying to get from point A to B. That said, Jaguar needs to re-focus and become a truly premium, exclusive brand at volumes way less than BMW or Mercedes, but more than Bentley, Aston-Martin or Maserati. They aren't ever going to be able to do a X-Type I don't think. People just aren't interested in a small Jaguar. The XK and XJ are what Jaguar is about, and a shortened version of the XJ's platform should have been put to use under the 08' S-Type, but they've decided to re-skin the current car and use the existing chassis, a mistake IMO. The XK needs a V8 that is competitive in hp with the Germans. The XJ is reportedly getting a dramatic restyle for 2009 so that buyers will actually know that it is a new car. The S-Type should be a better looking, equally performing, priced the same as, alternative to the E-Class/5-Series class leaders. Unless they're going to do a proper rwd chassis that is flexible to create a small rwd sedan/coupe/roadster then they need to forget about the entry-level-sports sedan market, they'll only continue to get eaten alive with an fwd Ford derivative.

    Do the Koreans have the vision (we know they have the money) to pull this off? I doubt it.

    M
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Of course. I fully believe Hyundai has the vision and the drive; although at this point, it's all speculation since Hyundai is not interested. You could say this is like a potential playoff team not interested in getting an overpaid and washed up player.

    Had the deal gone through, I actually wouldn't mind getting a Jag for thousands less than competitors, and with a great warranty to go along...oh well!!
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Good lineup, but don't forget XK-E replacement. There is a demand for a true 3-series competitor too: can Jaguar do that one?

    Hyundai's utilitarian philosopy ('a car = a pencil = a fridge = a car = a fence post') create an instant conflict what Jaguar needs to be successful.

    Yes, Jag doesn't need to match MB/BMW/Audi in volume. To keep going they need to double sales from the current low.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    All Jaguar really has of value is the name...maybe they could survive as a very small specialty manufacturer, like Morgan or Panoz. Jaguar lost its way completely in 1975 IMO, when they abandoned sports cars and starting making land yachts that looked good but didn't run worth a damn. This make was once a Le Mans winner, defeating Mercedes and all the rest, and a car for the MIDDLE class---it was not born as or envisioned as a luxury car maker, but rather as sporting affordable fun for the successful middle-level income class. If they could just make a sports car (a real one) and a BMW type 3 series sedan that'll be great.

    MODERATOR

  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    But appears the private equity people are trying to get in:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/3126ac52-330d-11db-87ac-0000779e2340.html

    I reckon a private equity would drop the X and S and concentrate on the higher end. They would need to get a real good price in order to make the investment work.

    Ford has hope though. One of the teams is lead by Nasser. Nasser never saw an investment he was not willing to overpay for ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    The automotive history books are littered with the corpses of normally sound businessmen making very bad decisions about "saving" a brand of car. If I see one more re-birth of the Avanti I'm going to foam at the mouth! :mad:

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  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,168
    From what I can see, Avanti is still with us. Looks like it's based on an old Camaro. I guess those F-body diehards can always buy an Avanti. How about a brand-new Studebaker? Check out the Studebaker XUV:

    http://www.avantimotors.com/studespecific.htm
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    I think I'll write a movie called "The Beast That Would Not Die" and use the Avanti as the star. I wonder if anyone totalled up how many guys lost their shirts on this car?

    MODERATOR

  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Funny.

    Jaguar is not quite Avanti yet. But if Nasser is talking decent money for the brand, I see only upside for Ford and losses for the investors.

    Maybe Land Rover will be able to make some money for them. But isn't Land Rover starting to adapt its platforms from Volvo bases? Ford is not going to sell Volvo as best I can tell. Somehow I doubt Ford will continue supplying technology to what would then be a Land Rover competitor.
  • cdokecdoke Posts: 14
    Ford has made a massive mistake with Jaguar. Ford should never have attempted to turn Jaguar into a mass market luxury brand and make it the mirror image of Mercedes-Benz and BMW. In so doing, they have cheapened the brand.

    I may only be 23 but I remember when Jaguar was considered the little cousin of Rolls-Royce- that is the benchmark to which the brand was compared. It is now compared to those German brands- a massive step down in its prestige. I remember when the car I drive, the XJ, was the least expensive vehicle manufactured by Jag. The S-type was considered the “baby Jag”. So what’s the primary mistake? If the S-type is the “baby-Jag” what’s the X-Type- the “fetal Jag”?

    I am going to try to temper the snobbish arrogance that goes along with being an aesthete (and having an M.E. in Engineering). I now have the disgrace of being associated with these 25 year-old cubical working owners of cheap X-type Jags, who drive too fast and do not recognize the bastardization of the brand that they are doing disgrace to. I know that the X-type was created in order to create customer loyalty. I don’t believe for a single second that is what is happening: these people are not likely to buy another more expensive Jag even in the future- they probably cannot afford to maintain it. As a note on brand loyalty, I believe that in particular to jaguar it runs in families. My parents have one as well as my grandparents.

    Ford and the management at Jaguar, incidentally know that the X-type was a mistake and that it has cheapened the marque- you will probably never see an advertisement for an X-type Jaguar. They should have moved the other direction: there is a niche at about $140,000 to $160,000. The fact that they are English helps immensely in this area there is an luxury aesthetic that is wholly English and which the Germans really don’t understand well- the German culture is very austere in its aesthetic.

    As for Hyundai- if they do indeed purchase Jag, I can say that it will be the end of my family's involvement with the brand. This I can guarantee.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,699
    quite a big first post!
    jag had a very unrealiable rep. at least ford fixed that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    You think? Sometimes I wonder if Jaguar just got unreliable in different ways that people weren't used to. Just kidding...the XJ6 was pretty awful......

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  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,168
    ...either Jaguar would've become extinct under British-Leyland or would suvive and become cheapened under Ford. Jaguar's reliability definately improved under Ford. Back in the day I'd see Jaguars sporting bumper stickers "All Parts Falling Off This Car Are of the Finest British Workmanship." Geeze, guys were replacing unreliable Jaguar sixes and twelves with Chevy 350s.

    I do agree that the X-type was a huge mistake. It is, however, the nicest Contour I've ever seen!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    replacing the Jaguar engine with a Chevy V8 was very ironic, because the Jaguar engines were the most reliable part of the car! The basic Jaguar engine had a production run that was probably as long as, or longer than, any other engine in history....about 40 years in the same basic form and casting...It was the cooling and electrics that plagued Jaguar more often than not. And some wildly impractical engineering. Using the AC system to cool the gasoline and using inboard brake rotors and dual gas tanks, and putting rubber injection lines under hot manifolds....all this makes me scratch my head.

    What made Jaguars unreliable "back then" was a company that was undercapitalized. They were always cash-short and cutting corners, and foreced to reproduce the same mistake over and over. I think Ford allowed them to shed that liability by developing new or "bent to fit" engines and drivelines (it costs many millions to develop a single new engine).

    But of course this baked all the character out of the car...and really, the only thing Jaguar HAD was character and good looks.

    I mean really...put a Dodge drivetrain in a Mercedes and what have you got? yeah, your local mechanic can fix it (maybe) but the character and "feel" of the car is gone, gone, gone.

    MODERATOR

  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I don't disagree with your criticism of the X (and probably S) type Jags.

    But don't Jaguar fans have at least some gratitude for the aluminum frames and the better engines Ford ownership is largely responsible for?

    Further, as a multi-generational fan, what is your opinion of the styling of the new XJ? Many have criticized Ford for building great improvements into the platform and engine, but then lamented how close the current XJ resembles the previous model.

    In my mind, however, I did not see where Jaguar had too much wriggle room. Would you as a third generation Jag afficianado accepted a strong deviation from the traditional Jag sedan look?
  • cdokecdoke Posts: 14
    Oh don't get me wrong. The question that really must be asked is "who could do better by Jaguar?" This causes me to really believe Jaguar should be owned by Ford. I am most certainly not complaining, as someone who can attest to the benefits of Ford's increased quality control and technology investments in the brand. I am simply complaining about the direction they took the company as a whole. I have a friend who has parents who have owned XJ12s and the like, and during dinner this subject came up. I think we all pretty much agreed that Jaguar should actually make a model higher than the XJ. So, I am not the only person who thinks this.

    You know, as far as the current XJ styling, I don't like it quite as much as the previous model XJ. I really like the size, but the exterior in particular seems to have... less attention to detail. It isn't; quite as pretty of a car.

    As far as radical styling changes. Automobile magazine had this picture (I am pretty sure it is a Photoshopped thing) of some green device, that they are saying is similar to the new XJ styling which is supposed to appear in 2009, that my friend made a point to show me. When I first saw it I had a sinking feeling of disappointment in my stomach- it is so radically different. I have warmed to the idea a little more, and can understand that time may necessitate a new design regime for the vehicle. My only problem is that I don't want Jaguar to loose what I feel to be a form of classicism that does not go out of style.
  • bds92bds92 Posts: 21
    This thing is forcing me to reply to the guy behind me. I don't know why, but let me say this.

    If Hyundai took over Jaguar.....think of it this way. Ford-controlled Jaguar is to Hyundai-controlled Jaguar as biting a piece of aluminum is to biting into a piece of your own feces. What do they have in common? One's bitterly impractical and terribly mismanaged, and the other's more impractical than having a rock take the SAT's.

    Hyundai builds their cars terribly, and with Jaguar they'd be no different. Ford, of course, builds their cars terribly as well, but not near as terribly. And of course, with Ford you get the satisfaction that the money you make in America stays in America.

    I understand about Ford's condition, and have also filtered that into my thinking, but the odds are and are most certain to be that Hyundai is not a solution, but a sort of a feeder to dying marque. Ford selling Jag to Hyundai is only something to keep Jag going while it perishes anyway. In a sense, that could apply to Ford as well, but there is, however, another solution.

    A chairman for JCB, a company with nothing to do with automobiles, has expressed interest in Jaguar as well. Here's the catch: they have a secret weapon. Matthew Taylor, who left Land Rover to join JCB, knows the business inside and out, and managed by him, Jag could make a comeback. Who knows? I'm not saying selling an auto company to a not-auto company is the best idea, but it's a start.

    And it ain't Hyundai, thank goodness.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    to see JCB buy Jaguar. Maybe a British firm would understand what Jaguar is and needs to be better than a Korean firm.

    JCB is a world leader in the construction equipment business. The company is very innovative and sound financially. JCB just built a new manufacturing plant in Georgia.

    The Bamford family still owns JCB and it is a private company. Here is a link to their company history.

    http://www.jcb.com/(jqcrpcrsjfx44kzaql3u1j55)/aboutjcb/getting_job_done.aspx
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Thank you for your input.

    Ford had a real challenge when it came to the XJ redesign. They took a pretty conservative route this time. I personally am not sure it was the right thing to do. But with such an iconic design, I am not certain what Ford could have done otherwise.

    Very difficult choices.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    of the best potential owners of Jaguar as I see it today. This list is subject to change on further information or on a whim.

    1) JCB
    2) Hyundai
    3) Ford

    I put JCB first because of their British heritage, excellent reputation for service and financial strength. I put Ford last because it will take lots of money to get Jaguar back on track.
  • cdokecdoke Posts: 14
    I really understand JCB. Because it is not a car company there would have to be now real image damage control for Jaguar. Ford has already done theirs...not so well perhaps. But Hyundai? That makes me cringe.

    You know, you go to car dealerships and look around and any Hyundai you see looks cheap. You look at the price tag and some of them go up to almost 30 grand. It's a Hyundai. I wouldn't pay half that for it. That is saying something given that I have spent more than 15 grand in tbe past year and a half just maintaining my Jag. You know Hyundai's image is horrible in my eyes- and is so beneath Jag it simply isn't funny to me.

    You know you have to understand the motivation of Hyundai. So, you think back to my International Political Economy Days in college. Incidentally, just to add some sort of levity to this, My moderators for IPE were not lightweights in this field. Eul is considered an expert ( and he is Korean) and Phillipe is the former CEO of TOTAL (that being the oil corporation).

    The South Koreans in a general sense want to outdo Japan. If you ask the executives at Hyundai what their motive is, and they will tell you that they want to outdo Toyota, and so it would make sense for them to attempt to acquire a brand to compete with Lexus. Lexus really is the least expensive, least exciting (IMO) luxury brand. Of course, there is a practical reason Lexus is cheaper on the whole. The brand needed to be significantly separated from Toyota, so there are very few options on a Lexus- everything is already on it. Unlike German brands, where everything is an option- its a German thing- they don't even like sunroofs. So Lexus can be manufactured at far less of a cost, because it is repetitive. The German brands are rather inefficient in their manufacture- something that German sensibilities won't like but it is true. When you purchase a car, you purchase the culture that manufactured it. In addition to this, in order for Lexus to compete, it really needed to infiltrate the European Market: in particular the German brands. In fact, if you look at the brochures of the Lexus IS, Every picture is taken in Germany. ...That was a bit off subject...

    Anyway, Lexus to me, is an engrandized Toyota, and so I wouldn't believe it to be the natural competitor of Jag, which is what Hyundai would attempt to do make Jag. Hyundai needs to compete with Lexus, Lexus is designed to compete with German Brands. In fact, Lexus steals design cues from German cars. The New LS viewed from the side looks like a 7 series BMW with the rear lights of the 5 series. But German and English Cars are nothing alike really. You can sit in any English Car A Jaguar XJ, Bentley Arnage, Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph, and then sit in any German car and you can really see a massive difference. English cars are very sui generis- you can ususally tell that a car is English by its syling, and implicitly Jag is not the natural competitor of Lexus either.

    Like I said...it would end my involvement with Jag, were Hyundai to purchase it.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    I agree with much of what you say. You will notice that I put Hyundai below JCB in my ranking of who should buy Jaguar.

    I would be sorry to see Jaguar turned into a badge engineered Hyundai. For some reason Lexus buyers do not mind their cars sharing platforms and a large percentage of components with Toyota models. This wouldn't work for Jaguar or other Euro brands.

    I wonder if JCB will make Ford a firm offer. At what price would Ford sell Jaguar?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Really thought stimulating posts, very deep and passionate.

    I must say though that I think you left out one component of possible Korean ownership of Jaguar. The Korean companies just like the Japanese are social climbers, they want status and they want it badly. Funny that you mentioned Lexus and their practices, a lot of it geared towards gaining equal ground on prestige/status front with the Germans. The Koreans are even worse than the Japanese on the issues of copying and what not right now.

    I think Hyundai would love to have a brand of theirs mentioned in the same breath with the German brands and therefore they wouldn't dramatically cheapen Jaguar, IMO of course. I think they'd try their best to keep Jaguar as is and give them a proper development budget.........here it comes.......at first. Now if Jaguar couldn't turn themselves around on their own in say like 5 years then what you speak of would likely happen because I too think (well I know) Hyundai would be clueless on how to build a Jaguar on their own. The only way for Korean ownership of Jaguar to work is hands-off ownership, which I think Hyundai would give, again......at first. If it didn't work, I think we'd be looking at another GM-Saab like episode. I'd rather see Jaguar become a glorious luxury car maker under some private owner who can barely balance the books, but remain open while providing some truly stunning cars than to become a "poodle in a Hyundai/Kia circus" (a paraphrase of Shiftright's take on Saab under GM) by rebadging or sharing platforms with anything Korean. Either that or just let the brand die. I've had to sit and watch Saab become GM Europe and it is disgusting for the most part. I don't think I could stand to see that happen to Jaguar.

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Hi, Merc1.

    How do you think the JCB purchase of Jaguar would work out if indeed it happens?
  • cdokecdoke Posts: 14
    After thinking about it, I really don't think Hyundai will cheapen Jaguar- Ford already did it. Ford has already turned Jag into a mimmic for German brands. I guess through for me keeping it that way is just as big of a sin as making it what way. What I am really afraid of is Hyundai bastardizing the brand- making it look like a German car in order to compete with them and Lexus. I really didn't articulate that well in my last message.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    This reminds me of a (supposedly) true story about the automobile business.

    A group of bigwigs in Detroit were invited to Henry Kaiser's announcement that he was going to build a car for postwar (WWII) America. He invited other car company execs and also the press. He announced that the new Kaiser Frazier factory was being capitalized at $40 million dollars to start with (in 1940s money).

    A voice rang out from the back of the room: "Give that man ONE CHIP!"

    It takes a LOT of money to play in the auto biz successfully; otherwise, you are like the stock trader with a capitalization of $100. Even if you score big you can't score big.

    MODERATOR

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Not sure, I have to read up on JCB because I know nothing about them.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What I am really afraid of is Hyundai bastardizing the brand- making it look like a German car in order to compete with them and Lexus. I really didn't articulate that well in my last message.

    I think I got that from your last post, I don't think they would though. They would have to see that competing with the Germans and Lexus didn't work under Ford either. They'd be throwing good money after bad on that one. Jaguar has to move upmarket and go exclusive and that means no X-Type and possibly no S-Type either. Both of those classes move very fast and Japan and Germany both of them firmly.

    M
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