Why Jaguar And Land Rover Face Uncertain Futures

Why Jaguar And Land Rover Face Uncertain Futures


Jaguar Land Rover are two iconic
brands in the automotive world. Rich with heritage an excellent style
and performance but each have also suffered Rocky histories. And for years each were passed between
new owners in Europe and the U.S. including BMW and Ford. With BMW owning Land Rover and
Ford owning Jaguar in the 80s. Then just when they were on the
verge of bankruptcy the two thoroughly British sister brands were bought
by the Indian, Tata Motors. Part of the vast Tata Group
empire that makes up everything from software to food products. When Tata acquired them in 2008, both
Jaguar Land Rover had their fair share of financial struggles and
had fought to overcome reputations for unreliability. If you were going to say drive
across the country in a given vehicle and hope that everything went well. Pre-Tata, Jaguar Land Rover would have been
one of the last brands I would have picked to do that in. I just didn’t have
faith in their vehicles. Worse, Tata had bought these brands
and perhaps one the worst possible times in recent history. Right on the cusp
of the financial crisis. However in the years that followed,
Tata Motors did something many owners had failed to do
before turning them into moneymakers. But things are getting gloomy
for jail are once again. Just as these two legends have
finally found some footing a drastically shrinking market in China for
JLR and trouble in Europe are threatening them once again. The S&P lowered the credit ratings of
both JLR and Tata Motors in early 2019 and they are
now deep in junk status. The question now? Will Tata Motors be able to turn around
JLR once more or is looking to cut its losses? Jaguar was founded in 1922 as the
Swallows Side Car company by William Lyons, a motorcycle
enthusiast and engineer. Back then the company initially made
side cars, those little pods that sit on the side of motorcycles. But in 1935, Lyons built the S.S. Jaguar. It was the first car
to bear the Jaguar name. Over the years the company has
made sleek aerodynamic sports cars and became known for racing. Number 20 is the winning Jaguar
which eventually finish nine laps ahead of the next car. Having traveled at an
average speed of 93.5 miles an hour. Perhaps the most famous example was
the E-type which Jaguar started making in the 1960s. Land Rover had an entirely
different history making off-road vehicles used by the military and bucolic
customers in Europe and around the world starting in 1947. Over the years Land Rover developed
a reputation for making rugged trucks an SUV with
a distinct British touch. Models such as the defender,
developed reputations for ruggedness and capability rivaled perhaps only by few
vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler. Though also extremely capable, the
brand’s Range Rover was perhaps what anticipated the trend in
high end luxury sports utility vehicles. And has even been the target
of scorn for its popularity with well-heeled buyers who never drive
the thing off pavement. The two companies were rejoined under
one roof beginning with Ford buying Jaguar in the late 1980s. But in terms of fully exploiting the
brand name of strength that we were building up in the company there’s
no question we should be able to do a better job with the
resources that Ford Motor Company will make available. And then in 2000,
Ford bought Land Rover. Ford under went its own
troubles in the following years. It had to sell off many of
the premium names they had acquired including Jaguar and Land Rover. And another high-end British
automaker Aston Martin. Just eight years after Ford bought Land
Rover, Ford sold it and Jaguar to Tata Motors for about 2.7 billion dollars. Tata Motors did exactly what many fans
and enthusiasts say is the best thing an owner can do for
car companies as legendary as these. And it paid off. Jaguar Land Rover didn’t really start
to become a powerful and competitive group of brands in the
modern automotive world until Tata took over. And when Tata inherited both brands
and invested the kind of money that they had long needed invested. That’s when you saw everything from
the design to the engineering to most importantly the quality, reach a
level that made them comparable to things like a BMW or
an Audi or a Mercedes. Up until 2017, it looked like
Tata Motors had engineered a lasting turnaround for the
legendary brands. But things took a turn
for the worse in 2018. JLR posting a loss of about 4.3 billion dollars in
fiscal year 2019. Its biggest loss in
the last 10 years. That loss resulted in a large part
from a nearly 4 billion dollar one time write down. However even taking that into account
the company still would have lost money. The company said in January of 2019
that it’s cutting 4,500 jobs about 10 percent of its workforce. Jaguar Land Rovers troubles have
hurt parent company Tata motors. JLR’s recent troubles have been one
of the factors contributing to recent declines. In April 2019, reports surfaced that
Tata Motors is considering a sale of the brands to
French car manufacturer PSA. Reports that Tata Motors denies. Out of the two brands
Land Rovers and the strongest. But it has struggled as well. A big part of the problem, Jaguar
Land Rover sales in China fell about 26 percent in May and
46 percent in April. In March 2019, the company said sales
in China had fallen 34 percent for the fiscal 2018 to 2019 year. It is also facing
headwinds in Europe. Brexit threatens to raise costs. More than 40 percent materials used
travels from the European Union to the United Kingdom. And it must contend with
increasingly stringent emissions laws in Europe following the so-called diesel
gate scandal that rocked Volkswagen and other companies
in the automotive world. In a comment to CNBC, Jaguar
CEO Ralph space said that: But the U.S. may hold the keys
for JLR’s recovery. Land Rover’s strongest markets in North
America where it’s in the fortunate position of being a premium
sports utility maker in a time where U.S. customers are hungry for SUVs. JLR sold about 10 times as many
SUV as the United States as did traditional passenger cars in 2018. Despite the fact that jaguars portfolio
is still heavy on sedans and sports cars. But Jaguar is leaning
into utility vehicles too. It sold almost twice as many SUVs
in 2018 as its famous sports cars and sedans. And unlike brands such as Porsche,
it’s brushing aside the usual criticism that moving towards utility
vehicles is straying away from its race car roots. The Jaguar Land Rover
CEO also said: Jaguar is also stepping forcefully into
electric cars with its I-Pace crossover which has been
praised by critics. The car swept the world car awards
at the New York International Auto Show in 2019. But North America’s continued appetite for
its vehicles might not be enough to engineer a full
recovery for the two brands. Industry analysts worry about a larger
downturn in new car sales is looming. The easier path is just sell
Land Rovers people know them by Land Rovers. But they are taking a longer path
by of keeping both Jaguar Land Rover together because there are a couple
of restrictions which are coming in terms of fleet norms and all
those things which they need to meet and hence they can work out. In the meantime Tata Motors has
fended off reports that it’s considering selling the division
to PSA group,. The very same French automaker that
bought Opel and Vauxhall car brands from General Motors
and turn them around. Jaguar Land Rover have history
and heritage on their side. But the global automotive industry
is changing rapidly and it’s unknown how much of that history
and heritage will count in a business increasingly obsessed
with the future.