We all know that Ford doesn't break down the earnings (or losses) of its Premier Automotive Group, which includes Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Nevertheless, the Detroit News has learned just how much of an anchor the Jaguar brand was on the group's bottom line last year. In 2006 the Jaguar brand lost $715 million. DTN also uncovered an internal memo to executives that projects the brand will lose $550 million in 2007 and another $300 million in 2008. Clearly a quick turnaround is not in the cards for Jaguar, an asset into which Ford has dumped billions and billions of dollars since its purchase back in 1989.

[Source: The Detroit News]

Of course, Jag execs sound upbeat, trumpeting the postiive reception of the XK and XKR sport coupes, as well as the C-XF concept that debuted in Detroit. In fact, Bibiano Boerio, the managing director of Jaguar Cars, told the Detroit News that her brand's slumping sales are a good thing. Her reasoning? Lower sales allows the brand to return to its roots of building higher priced niche vehicles in lower volumes. OK. Presumably the upcoming XF that's set to replace the S-Type will be the first model charged with restoring the brand's luster and attracting bigger wallets into showrooms. Though the X-Type will not be cancelled altogether, it will make way in Jaguar's biggest markets, Germany, Japan and the U.S., for the XF to become the new, much more expensive entry model.

But seriously, how determined can Ford be to turn itself around when it insists on maintaining a brand that will lose untold millions over the next three years? In a perfect world, it would be great if a buyer came along for Aston Martin and allowed Jaguar to comfortably move upmarket, but Ford's out of time on this one. It's time to drown the cat and take its ninth life.

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