• Mar 12, 2006
Jaguar, Ford Motor Co.’s most troubled member in its Premiere Automotive Group (PAG), suffered another setback when its parent company halted the luxury brand’s plans to develop its newest vehicles based on an aluminum architecture. The company had hoped to use this new platform to bolster its image as 'cutting-edge' against such competitors as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Cost of the new architecture, though, lead to Ford’s decision.
"Given the current financial circumstances of Jaguar we have pretty tight reins on them (costs),” said Lewis Booth, executive vice president of Premier Auto Group and Ford of Europe. “That may restrict us getting to the perfect architecture line-up as quickly as we might have liked but…we need short-term improvements as well as planning for the long term."

The upcoming S-Type would have been the first recipient of the new platform. Instead, its current steel-based frame will be upgraded instead.

[Source: Financial Times via MSNBC]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      What this tells you is that Ford lacks confidence in it's development skills. If Ford's mgmt knew 100% that an aluminum Jag would be totally competitive and on point, they wouldn't run from the expense of the new platform. This tells me they probably planned too many other cost savings that are going to undermine the car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Once again, Ford makes a decision and an announcment (product plans, names, profit goals etc) and then - embarassingly - reverses course months later. Ford is a ship without a rudder. They have no apparent vision or leader. Bill Ford, in my view, has proven to be a worthless CEO, and this is just the latest example.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is a little confusing. Does it mean an end to aluminum Jags as we know them, the XJ8 and XK, or simply the fact that the next S-Type will be steel frame/aluminum components (which we've known for months)?

      As the husband of an XJ8 owner, the all aluminum structure is the one thing that really makes it competitive. Because of the low weight, 300HP feels like 350+. In addition, ride and handling are excellent. But best of all, mileage is far and away best in class, my wife averages low 20's around town and low 30's on the highway. Yes, I would love to see more dramatic styling, but it needs to stay all aluminum.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'd like to see the numbers.

      Aluminum construction was Jaguar's main claim to still being technologically on par with the big boys. With it off the table they'll likely be consigned to the second or even third tier.

      This decision might have gone differently if the current XJ was selling better. But the problem is that the car's styling is so thoroughly boring, and step back from the previous car's. If they started producing cars that looked more like their concepts, they'd be in better shape.

      There are also lingering reliability concerns. Given their low sales, I doubt I'll be tracking them any time soon at http://www.truedelta.com, as much as I'd like to.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not necessarily a bad thing. I am not sure aluminum is a great choice for a frame/unibody. Aluminum has a very low fatigue life - it is ver strong, very light, but does not respond well to bending (same reason it is hard to weld). I am all for lightening vehcicles, and aluminum is a fine choice for hoods, skins, suspension components, and so forth. I would rather have the largest component of my car be repairable by average mechanics/body shops (if at all).