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Ford Motor Company On A Selling Spree

Aug 18, 2007
In what are looking more and more like a fire sale, Ford Motor Company is reportedly set on selling off British luxury marques Jaguar and Land Rover. Having hired investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to work the sale into an appealing package, it seems that Ford will cut its losses with both UK subsidiaries in an effort to raise funds for the core production. The BBC reported that the British Government has contacted Ford concerned over the future of the 19,000 Jaguar and Land Rover employees whose jobs are suddenly at risk. And according to one BBC reporter, Ford's to blame for this dire state of affairs.

It's almost comical. In response to the hyperbole of questions that surround rumors that Ford Motor Company will sell off Jaguar and Land Rover in a bid to raise funds, Ford issued a press release yesterday that touted Jaguar safety. Specifically, the Blue Oval mentioned that the slow selling Jaguar XJ sedan had made it onto Forbes Magazine's list of the top 20 safest cars for 2007. Ford sited that Forbes came by this rating honestly; using data from Consumer Reports, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute. FoMoCo listed some of those features that made the big Jag so safe:

"The XJ is well-equipped with a number of standard safety features, such as advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Reverse Park Control and the Adaptive Restraint Technology System, which tailors airbag deployment to the needs of the driver and passenger based on the severity of the impact, occupant's weight and seat position."

Okay, now if everyone in the market for a $60K luxury sedan would just direct themselves to their nearest Jaguar dealer - all would be right as rain.

It's well known that after having successfully sold off Aston Martin, Ford is looking to rid itself of the other two British marques in its Premier Auto Group (PAG): Jaguar and Land Rover. The trouble is that Volvo maybe up for sale, too. What's stranger still is that the Volvo division has done well by FoMoCo. The carmaker is profitable and sales are strong. Still, some of Ford's investors want a clean slate and that means throwing the fiscally good out along with the fiscally bad (Aston Martin turned a profit last year).

A PAG rep. told Top Gear that Volvo wasn't officially up for sale. But in the past, they've said the same of Jaguar.
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