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For decades, Ford has carried Jaguar like an 800 lb guerrilla on the company's back. And just as Ford is able to unload the money-burning British marque, the leaping cat responds by posting its first sales increase in two years. Jaguar's April sales were up a ridiculous 69.6% in Europe, and while Automotive News somehow gives credit for this sales success to Tata Motors, it likely has a hell of a lot more to do with the all-new XF sedan. Jaguar has 18,000 customers in line for the new 4-door, which has given sales figures a big lift while helping other Jags leave the dealer lot, too. The slow-selling X-Type and the underrated XJ also got a lift from the extra showroom traffic.

At first glance, it appears Ford's luck just can't change, as Jaguar is finally looking interesting just as the Blue Oval sells it off. What's more likely is that Ford wouldn't have gotten as much cash for the leaping cat if it couldn't dangle a hot-looking sedan to potential suitors.

[Source: Auto News (subs req'd)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unless Tata merges with another EU high volume /low Co2 manufacturer I would say that they are in trouble with these two brands. http://howrah.org/business/12445.html
      Is Tata really that dumb? No. A Tata-JLR-(insert name of other European manufacturer) is and was part of the plan. Anyone cares to guess, who?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Quite frankly, I don't think Tata gives a sh*t about Europe.

        The fastest growing car markets are India and China, where there are no CO2 regulations and prestige car brands like LR and Jag have a lot of weight.

        If I were them, I'd give the Europeans the finger (keep producing cars there, but sell them for outrageous amounts of money) and focus on building a brand in China. By the time the CO2 rules come into play, the Chinese market will be ripe for a high-end, mid-volume luxury brand.

        • 7 Years Ago
        They also have that Tata Nano. If they were to start producing THAT in Europe, for export to the US and for sale in Europe, that'd lower their CO2 quotient very, very much. Selling potentially hundreds of thousands of them in Europe each year, versus the 20K Jags and 20K LRs would make a HUGE impact.
      • 7 Years Ago
      800 lb guerrilla?

      Come on now. If you ever want blogging to be accepted as real journalism, you're going to have to find more intelligent writers. I'm sorry, but I HATE reading anything that obviously hasn't been proofread.

      Do yourselves a favor and hire an editing intern. Preferably one that did not go to public school.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this is just the response of all the people who wanted to buy a Jag, but swore they would never buy a Ford.

      People see Jag as a company that might be around for a while now that it isn't attached to one of the failing Big3. Seeing Ford's progress lately, they might have been fine holding on to Jag. I think Ford has a future as long as we get the Mondeo and Euro Focus they promise in a few years.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "but swore they would never buy a Ford."
        I guess I will never understand why Americans despise themselves so much... When I came from Europe 10 years ago and was shopping for a car, I was astonished to learn that if you drive a domestic in America you're viewed as a looser. In Europe, American brands, Ford included, have been very respectful. Don't know about now, but 10 years ago driving Ford was no less prestigious than driving Lexus, believe it or not.

        So, according to you, all those people dreamed about buying Tata. Wow, what can I say expect that such behavior just demonstrate high level of intellect and is full of respect to themselves? Sigh...
        • 7 Years Ago
        First Point:
        The point was that people saw Ford as one of the many failing automotive manufacturers, and therefore did not want to get stuck with one of their products. Now that someone is throwing buckets of money into Jag, people are more confident that there will be a dealer network to back up the car they are buying.

        Second Point:
        Now that Ford is on the recovery and is showing promise, they too could put money into Jag to produce the same image. Ford considered Jag a money pit, and off loaded it to stop the bleeding. That is not the type of company you want to buy a car from.

        As for the US view of US makers vs. the Euro view of US makers. As I'm sure you've noticed the Euro Ford models aren't the same as what we get here in Ford's "home" country. When a company sells a premium product only outside of it's home country, what does that say to the people that live here ... "We don't think you'd appreciate the details, so here is some crap instead."
        • 7 Years Ago
        Volk, I've spent some time in Europe, and the Fords there were attractive, competitive, and more expensively priced cars.
        So in Europe the big sellers were cars like the Mondeo (saw them everywhere) and the newer Focus.
        The USA got neither of those cars, instead in the US Ford sells much cheaper and quite frankly, crappier, cars.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Volk, we've all gone over this a billizon times. You can't use direct currency conversions to compare prices in two countries. It's not an accurate comparison.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Daniel...you are either young or just dumb.

        • 7 Years Ago
        And watch your mouth.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "dumb" is inappropriate language? Do we also have to sit indian-style and use indoor voices?

        Seriously, though: Ford Europe's Mondeo and Focus are big time successes. Ford also owns Mazda, and that pretty much that whole company is a big time success. Plus, it gave Ford the Edge and the Fusion, 2 half-decent cars.
        • 7 Years Ago
        KT - name one big time success beside the Mustang.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's not how you use the phrase "800 lb. gorilla."
      • 7 Years Ago
      The new XF is pretty awesome looking.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As a owner of a 1995 XJS convertible I saw first hand the improvements Ford tried to make to Jaguar. However in it's mistaken haste to Fordify Jaguar and share platforms it removed the very soul from the beast that made a Jaguar a Jaguar. Tata will not make that mistake and will hopefully restore soul to the marque. You can make a brick (Mustang) go fast but it has no style or soul.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've seen this car on the road. The grill is awful. So are the headlights. It's not a bad looking car, but I just don't understand the orgasms that everyone seems to be having over its design.

      On top of that, it is overpriced. In fact, all Jags are overpriced. Perhaps that is why no one buys them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I saw the new XF a couple days ago here in Ukraine, and damn, it looks simply terrific and so special. No wonder why it sells so well, the looks alone do a great job.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree that some this may just be positive marketing spin. But with all great Euro/Luxury Sedans out there it is nice to see Jaguar with a viable option instead of just cars for old men or the low end X-Types that looked like fancy Ford Contours.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The XF is beautiful, but, myself ... I'd STILL have to go for a XJ Vanden Plas Super 8. Still classical elegance, unparelled anywhere else.

        I'd buy a Jag before any Mercedes or BMW or Audi.
        After the Jag, an Audi A8-L W12 with the Lambo V-8.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sandy, not to get picky, but there is no gallardo V8, lamborghini only haa a V10 and a V12 in the murcielago, and the A8 W12 comes with a W12 engine, which is basically two VR6 engines mated together.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wouldn't want an 800-lb guerrilla in my platoon.

      The XF is a pretty car, but I'm still not convinced that it's qualified to lead Jaguar into the next decade, stylistically. It's shapely, but--grille and light assemblies aside--fairly derivative. BMW's 5-Series looks at least as dramatic, and it's four years old.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jaguar, even a Jaguar that sells in 2008, is still a liability from pensions ($2 billion) additional R&D required (probably $1 billion a year) and potentially a car company with significant challenges with EU 2012.

      Mulally knows what he is doing. It just amazes me when people argue that they should have held onto Jaguar now that they have shown two positive months. He did the right thing for Ford - fewer distractions, less cash to burn through.
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