Ford: Jag is all ours (for now)
Ford Motor Co.’s new CEO Alan Mulally (pictured left) risked disappointing many on Wall Street at the Detroit auto show when he said the automaker has no current plans to dump Jaguar, its British luxury car unit.
Mulally, who replaced Bill Ford Jr. as CEO in September, had earlier declined to rule out the sale of Jaguar or other luxury brands in its lineup. It has said its British sports car unit, Aston Martin, is for sale.
Ford bought Jaguar, an iconic British brand known for its leaping cat hood ornament (pictured right, courtesy of Ford Web site), for $2.82 billion in 1989. However, it has struggled to make money with the brand.
Jaguar’s sales fell nearly 32 percent last year in the United States, the company’s largest market. Jaguar showed the C-XF concept car at the auto show and Car and Driver called it a hint at what is to come for the struggling brand.
Ford’s luxury division, called Premier Automotive Group, is expected to post a loss for 2006 and Jaguar remains the biggest drag on the division’s results.