The votes are in. While Ford executives leaf through the bids from potential new owners of both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, users of Autocar.co.uk have been having their say on the options laid out before bosses of the Blue Oval. And according to your votes, Ford should do whatever it can to fix loss-making Jaguar by finding a new financial partner and drawing up a bold plan to make the company a success.We laid out the same four options for the future of the Jaguar as currently face Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Ford of Europe boss Lewis Booth; they were ‘keep it’, ‘fix it’, ‘split it’ and ‘sell it’, and 33.6 per cent of you chose the second option. Next favourite was ‘keep it’ which got 29.7 per cent of the vote, while ‘sell it’ recorded 24.3 per cent. “It’s reassuring to find out that Autocar’s readers are concerned about the future of these great brands, “ said Ford and Premier Automotive Group spokesman John Gardiner. “They’re an intrinsic part of the UK motor industry, and we understand our responsibilities to both Jaguar and Land Rover, and to the communities that surround them.”“Rest assured that any decision Ford takes will be in the best interests of both Jaguar and Land Rover, as well as the Ford Motor Company.”
A deadline for the sale?
Meanwhile reports have been circulating, quoting a Ford spokesman, that suggest the second phase of the sale of the brands has now begun. A deadline has been set for closure of the deal, they attest, of September 30. The reports also suggest that Volvo is expected to be in different hands by the end of 2007.Ford spokesman Gardiner declined to confirm these facts, but did tell Autocar that “September would be very early to expect any deal to have been completed.”Many within the industry are speculating that there will be an announcement made at the Frankfurt motor show next month, however Autocar can reveal that won’t be the case. Rover made that mistake when it introduced the 75 in 2000 and then BMW announced that the company was for sale. Jaguar will be introducing the XF at Frankfurt; it’s exactly the wrong time to further speculation about the company’s future, and PAG knows it. Unless Ford can announce confidently and definitively that the brand’s future is secure, expect it to remain mute on the subject until well into October.