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Old September 2nd, 2006, 03:00 PM   #1
U475 Foxtrot
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Midland Automotive

Following the Rover, Peugeot events, Prodrive expansion and the recent speculation concerning Ford's Premier Auto Group I think a specific thread is about due.

Last week JCB were talking about aquiring Jaguar and today this has been in The Birmingham Post.

Quote:
British motoring icon could be sold for £700 million
Sep 1 2006
By John Revill, Business Staff


Aston Martin, an icon of British motoring, could fetch up to £700 million after it was put up for sale by its American owner Ford.

The US company yesterday said it had started the process of exploring strategic options for Aston Martin, with particular emphasis on a potential sale of all or part of the business.

The luxury carmaker has its headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, where it employs 1,500. It also has 200 employees at its historic home at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire.

The possible sale comes as Ford struggles to reverse the £763 million of losses recorded in the first six months of this year alone while the company is facing its worst financial predicament for more than 20 years.

Industry experts forecast a price of anywhere between £500 million and £700 million.

Ford chairman Bill Ford said: "We have determined that Aston Martin may be an attractive opportunity to raise capital and generate value.

"Aston Martin Lagonda has flourished under Ford ownership, which is why we believe it is prudent to consider a sale of all or part of this prized brand.

"Since Aston Martin's dealer network, product architecture and size are distinctly different from other Ford brands, it is the most logical and capital-smart divestiture choice."

The company is part of the Premier Automotive Group (PAG) of luxury brands which also includes Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo.

There has been speculation that Jaguar could be put up for sale, but Mr Ford said the company was encouraged by its progress.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 03:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U475 Foxtrot

Last week JCB were talking about aquiring Jaguar
Wow. But then again, JCB surely have no major rivals do they? So that means they get all the money.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 06:58 PM   #3
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It's an intresting prospect but I don't think it will happen.

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JCB purchase of Jaguar not such a daft proposition for luxury brand
Aug 30 2006
By John Duckers

So, it's open season on Jaguar.

Hyundai has said it isn't interested, but Renault is back in the frame, we have JCB's Sir Anthony Bamford wanting to buy the luxury car maker, and there is private equity interest.

No shortage of possible buyers then. And Ford may be a willing seller.

Ford has said that it is examining whether alliances with other companies may be beneficial, with pundits reck-o ning a tie up with Renault/Nissan would make more sense than Renault/Nissan getting into bed with General Motors. Meanwhile, chairman and chief executive Bill Ford has threatened "radical changes" amongst the company's brand portfolio.

Perhaps, Sir Anthony throwing his hat into the ring has been the most interesting development.

Naturally it has had the wags chuckling, with jokes like - you will be able to buy a Jaguar in any colour you want so long as it's yellow.

A few people have suggested that Sir Anthony - known to have a likening for fine wine - could have allowed himself to be a little carried away. He might have deep pockets but Jaguar on past performance will likely test any man's fortune.

Yet I thought Sir Anthony's assessment had merit.

His turnaround plan was typically blunt but probably sound. "The little car (X-type) needs to go. The S-type is critical and the XJ is a very good car but it needs a re-skin."

Perhaps a little harsh though when he went on: "Jaguar is regarded in the world as a dog."

Now you might think putting Jaguar together with a digger-maker would be bizarre.

But Sir Anthony noted: "If private equity companies get involved they'll borrow from all over the place and sell it in three years."

And I quite agree.

Let's at all costs try and keep Jaguar out of the hands of the private equity brigade.

Making a case for his own stewardship, Sir Anthony claimed: "We've been in business for sixty years and I can see a long term future in Jaguar."

Bringing control of Jaguar back to the Midlands in a group as strong as JCB might not be such a bad thing.

So I hope Sir Anthony makes progress, although I have my doubts as to whether he will emerge victorious.

What then of the private equity crew?

One Equity Partners, part of JPMorgan Chase, and with former Ford chief executive Jacques Nasser a partner, has been linked with Ford's luxury brands, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Aston Martin.

Now that too is believable.

Ford has made a right pig's ear of its Premier Automotive Group and it might be time for someone else. After all, Nasser knows PAG back to front.

That would free Ford to concentrate on core products, make an alliance and produce the radical change Bill Ford is talking about.

That's the way I think it is pointing - others would disagree.

There is going to be change at Ford and I personally would be amazed if it owns Jaguar in a year. All very uncertain for the workforce.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 09:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfield
Wow. But then again, JCB surely have no major rivals do they? So that means they get all the money.
JCB have a MAJOR rival - Caterpillar.

Ford are unlikely to sell Jaguar at the moment - it's not worth anything, and they've recently combined functions within Landrover, Volvo and Jaguar - it may be difficult to remove one.

All those things Bamford says he would do are already being done by Jaguar - and Ford have managed to improve the quality of the vehicles no end.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 09:37 PM   #5
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With the latest Jag doing so well... Jag are a very tasty looking purchase.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 12:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinN
JCB have a MAJOR rival - Caterpillar.
Oops. Okay, what I meant to say is that people typically refer to any type of digger as a JCB, meaning that they are..... good.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 02:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfield
Oops. Okay, what I meant to say is that people typically refer to any type of digger as a JCB, meaning that they are..... good.

It's all clear now!
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 05:37 PM   #8
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If I were Ford I'd be desparate to cut my losses so far as jaguar is concerned. They just haven't been good stewards of jaguar, churning out a series of pretty average and pretty dull new cars. There is lots of good stuff in the company and certainly a potentially glowing future given its strong brand and the growing luxury segment. Someone new is needed at jaguar cos its gone stale under ford. JCB guy may well be a good match as any tie up with Renault-Nissan will undermine the brand image just as the ford tie up did.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 05:47 PM   #9
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I think a JCB tie up with Jag & LandRover would be a great thing provided that enough money can be found for product development. Lack of proper new models is what killed MG Rover off.

Can you imagine the marketing potential of an ultra rugged Land Rover in bright yellow with "Power by JCB dieselmax" on it.

You could even use that tag on diesel jags for that matter...
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Old September 4th, 2006, 09:56 AM   #10
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The JCB guy said he's only interested if Landrover and Jaguar can be separated as they currently share lots of parts and he wants to develop his own range of JCB SUV's apparently.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Longbridge car factory to reopen

Nanjing wants to set up a dealer network for the new MG
Car manufacturing is to resume at Longbridge, the former home of MG Rover, with its new Chinese owner set to start making MG models.

Nanjing Automobile said MG production would restart within months and that it would employ many former Rover workers.

The West Midlands plant has been inactive for almost two years after Rover's collapse in 2005.

Nanjing said its mission was to "revive, maintain and develop" the MG brand at the plant.

Nearly 6,000 Rover workers lost their jobs when the company went into administration nearly two years ago.

Nanjing, which bought the factory site and other Rover assets in 2005 for £53m, has pledged to spend an initial £10m on reviving Longbridge.


I remember reading about Admiral Nelson and his message about England expects every man to do his duty... now we want the British people to support us

Test production of the MG-TF sports car will begin within weeks with full-scale manufacturing set to start in April.

By that point, about 250 people will be employed at the factory, although staff numbers are expected to rise over time as production ramps up.

Nanjing's aim is to make 3,000 cars in the first year, rising to 12,000 by 2009. It will ultimately have the capacity to make 15,000 cars a year.

The news will be a major boost to the local economy which has seen a host of car firms scale down operations in recent years.

Nanjing appealed to the British public to back its new models, adding that it was in talks about setting up a network of dealers to sell the cars.

The TF model is expected to go on sale in the UK in July while hard-top versions will be available from next year.

Longbridge produced 110,000 cars a year before Rover's collapse

"I remember reading about Admiral Nelson and his message about England expects every man to do his duty," said James Lin, Nanjing's operations director.

"We have restored production at Longbridge and now we want people to help us. If they love the MG brand or history, it is their country's car industry and history as well.

"Now we want the British people to support us."

Most of the Rover workers who were made redundant after the firm's collapse have since found new jobs, many of them retraining to work in other areas.

But the reopening of Longbridge will be good news for suppliers, who were hit hard by Rover's collapse as well as the closure of other plants such as Peugeot's Ryton factory near Coventry.

"We are delighted that some form of production is returning to Longbridge and it keeps the MG brand alive," John Lamb, a spokesman for the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said of the news.

"But the big problem is going to be whether they can sell the thing."
...
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Old January 30th, 2007, 04:33 PM   #12
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Reopen? ITS ALIVE!

Quote:
First new MG at Longbridge is unveiledJan 30 2007

By Chris Morley, Birmingham Mail

THE first new MG car to be produced under Chinese ownership at a re-born Longbridge was unveiled today.

The exciting MG TF sports car is the first to roll off the production line - and comes with an urgent plea from the Nanjing Automotive Corporation.

It called for backing from British motorists and urged them to "take the vehicles to their hearts".

Nanjing operations director James Lin said: "If they love the MG brand or history, it is their country's car industry and history as well. We want the British people to support us."
icBirmingham.co.uk
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Old January 30th, 2007, 04:44 PM   #13
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This is great news!!
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Old January 30th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #14
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Brilliant news for some of the workers and the area. Car production back at it's rightful place .
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Old January 30th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erebus555 View Post
Brilliant news for some of the workers and the area. Car production back at it's rightful place .

Don't get too excited. It's car ASSEMBLY. All the design and engineering skilled jobs have gone. Its similar to Peugot, except on a much smaller scale.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 08:05 PM   #16
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Any activity on site is a good thing. We were being bombarded at one point with news that production in no way would begin on site ever. And it also says that the number of employees could start to rise which shows that over a period of time, it could get itself back on its feet but it could take a good few decades before that happens.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #17
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Great news!! I hope Cov gets something back too.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 07:47 PM   #18
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Jaguar S-Type Replacement. Behold the Brummie Built Jaguar XF!





Quote:
The new Cat is almost out of the bag! But if you want to know exactly what Jaguar's XF will look like, you won't have to wait any longer.

Thanks to inside information, Auto Express can reveal that the showroom version of the much anticipated replacement for the brand's S-Type is every bit as head-turning as the scene-stealing concept displayed at Jan*uary's Detroit Motor Show.

Our images, based on details from sources within the British company, provide the clearest glimpse yet of the BMW 5-Series rival's styling, ahead of its world debut at the Frank*furt exhibition in September. But that's not all. We also have the first spy pic*tures of the XF, which we've scooped undergoing testing near Jaguar's headquarters in the Midlands.

Auto Express



Excuse me. I think I've just cum.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 07:50 PM   #19
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As someone who has owned two Rover cars (my dad owned three over the years) I have a soft spot for the Marque and am pleased that something is going to be built in Brum. again.

I won't be able to afford one but I hope it (MG I believe?) is a great success.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 07:54 PM   #20
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Blahblah, that is one of the most gorgeous cars I have ever seen. I can only think of a couple of cars that I have loved like this: Aston Martin DB9 and VW W12 Nardo... Who says there's nothing beautiful in Brum (apart from Cat Deeley and Suzzanne Virdee).
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