Fleet News

New dawn for Jaguar?

A NEW dawn or the sun setting on another great British marque? Whatever your view, Ford is remaining silent over mounting speculation that it is considered selling its Jaguar luxury car division.

Reports from the US claim that Ford has hired a finance specialist to assess the state of the company after Ford in America announced a £65 million loss in the second quarter of this year. According to the rumours, the loss-making Jaguar company could be sold off to restore some health to Ford’s parlous finances.

Ford declined to comment, but a Jaguar spokesman said the stories were ‘speculation’ and reiterated the company line that ‘Ford in the States has confirmed there are no plans to divest itself of any assets’.

Ford bought Jaguar for £1.6 billion in 1989 but the company has struggled to sell cars against its German rivals in the premium market. Last year, it built 90,000 cars – some way short of the expected 200,000 a year.

Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that Jaguar sales in the UK are down nearly 12% year-to-date, giving it a market share of around 1%. In contrast, rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz have seen sales rise by 6% and 11.7%, giving them a market share of 4.4% and 3.4% respectively.

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