Ford Chief Leaves Door Open to Jaguar Sale

08 January 2007

DETROIT: The ceo of ailing Ford Motor Company says the automaker's luxury Jaguar marque could still be put up for sale as part of its Way Forward turnaround plan.

Alan Mulally told a group of journalists in Detroit: "All good businesses continually review their portfolio, and we will continue to evaluate our portfolio going forward."

So far UK-based Jaguar has been spared the auctioneer's hammer, unlike its more glamorous and successful stablemate Aston Martin [WARC News: 01-Sept-06] which will know its fate later this year.

Jaguar sales have fallen sharply and slumped by almost one third in the US during 2006.

However, for the time being Ford is keeping faith with the brand. Mulally said the company was "very pleased with the progress they're making", and will unveil a new concept car at this week's Detroit auto show.

Ford, which posted a $7 billion (€5.3bn; £3.6bn) loss in the first nine months of 2006, saw US market share slide to 17.5% from 18.5% in 2005 - and more than 25% a decade ago.

Mulally, who took the hot seat after a successful career at Boeing [WARC News 07-Sept-6], has outlined four priorities in his struggle to reverse the company's fortunes: aggressive measures to trim production in line with eroding market share; faster development of new vehicles; a financing plan; and a drive "to pull our team together even tighter".

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff