Speed and performance expert Jamal Hameedi has left Ford Performance to become part of the Jaguar Land Rover SVO. According to his new LinkedIn profile, his title is listed as Engineering Director, SVO at Jaguar Land Rover. On one of his social media threads, Hameedi said: After an incredible 27-year career at Ford Motor Company, it is time for something new! I am moving to England to join Jaguar-Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations creating amazing vehicles, such as the SV coupe.
Strange how time gets away from us. I thought we had featured Jaguar Cars recently in our Video of the Week (VotW) series, but on looking back that proved not to be the case. I had to go way back into 2015 to find such a video. How could this be? So let us reconcile that now with a video with is a short history of Jaguar Cars. Of course nothing less that a full television series could possibly do the span of years of Jaguar justice, but this video does present a good overview of the highlights. As most good British car buffs know, Jaguar as we know it was originally founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922. They originally made motorcycle sidecars before developing bodies for passenger cars. Under the ownership of Swallow Sidecar (S.S.) gave way […]
Saving Jaguar covers the period in Jaguar’s history leading up to and encompassing the takeover by Ford it does so with a clarity that comes from honesty. […]
When John Egan arrived at Jaguar Cars in April 1980, newly appointed as Chief Executive, the company’s very survival was in grave doubt. In fact, the situation looked utterly hopeless. Not only was the once-proud Jaguar company a part of the catastrophic BL Cars but he was greeted at the gates by the workforce – on strike! The odds against saving Jaguar were immense. Quality was appalling, the workforce bitter, the management disillusioned and it was hemorrhaging money. The Labour Government had introduced the ‘closed shop’, giving the unions and their militant shop stewards immense power. This book tells the story of how John Egan gradually overcame the odds and, piece by piece, rebuilt this once great company, winning over the workforce, the suppliers, the overseas dealers and, most important of all, the customers. Working initially with BL Chairman Michael […]
An old friend always used to say that “Jeeps are famous, but Land Rovers are legendary.” I know some Jeep fanatics who might disagree with that, but many of us have been fond of the Land Rover, and its entire family tree, for many years. Our video this week looks back over Land Rover’s history through the eyes of some of the men who were there. This is the story of Land Rover – from its inception as a way to save the Rover company to its becoming the SUV of choice for the landed gentry. The design for the original Land Rover vehicle was started in 1947 by Maurice Wilks, chief designer at the Rover Company, on his farm in Newborough, Anglesey. It is said that he was inspired by an American World War II Jeep that he used […]
Carroll Shelby‘s son Patrick and grandson Aaron made the winning $539,000 bid at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in January to return Carroll’s first race car to the family home in Dallas, making the diminutive but singular 1949 MG TC the world’s most expensive MG for a long time to come. Per the description on the Barrett-Jackson website: The first car that Carroll Shelby drove in a road race. The car that started his racing career. In May of 1952, his good friend Ed Wilkins let Carroll Shelby drive this MG TC in a road race at Norman, Oklahoma. It was Shelby’s first sport car race. He won it, and the second race, too, easily outrunning the Jaguar XK120’s. That race and this car changed the course of his life as he went on to achieve immortality as creator of the Shelby […]
On April 22, this year’s Drive It Day to promote use of classic and interesting cars, Vauxhall is opening its Heritage Centre containing about 70 historic cars from all eras. There is free entry between 10am and 4pm, during which any classic car owners can partake of light refreshments and the opportunity to see one of the largest manufacturer’s heritage collections in the UK. Vauxhall’s Heritage Centre can be found on Park Street, Luton LU1 3HG, behind the main Griffin House headquarters on Osborne Road, where there is ample parking. The annual Drive It Day, which is organized by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, encourages owners and enthusiasts to take their own classic out on the road to celebrate motoring heritage at its finest. It was launched to celebrate the Thousand Mile Trial in 1900 in which 64 cars set […]
The revival of the IPO market, when it comes, will give James Bond fans a chance to own a slice of British luxury car maker Aston Martin and could generate enough funds for the group to revive its famous Lagonda brand. “It’s clear that at some point investors holding equity in an independent company need to devise an exit, and this exit is an IPO that we will do when the time is right,” Chief Executive Ulrich Bez told Reuters on Tuesday. “Aston Martin is working on achieving a valuation comparable to a luxury goods maker.” Ford Motor Co (F.N) sold Aston Martin for 479 million pounds ($756 million) in March 2007, to a consortium led by David Richards — former Formula 1 Benetton and BAR racing boss — as well as two Kuwaiti funds. In an interview at the […]
There was a lot of eye rolling and worried looks when Ford sold Jaguar to India’s Tata. But based on the latest December figures, maybe there wasn’t reason to worry. Jaguar sold 1,246 cars in December in the U.S., a 24% increase from last year. Land Rover sold 3,595 of its rugged SUVs, a 37% boost from a year ago. For the full year, combined sales of both brands dipped 14%, not bad considering how the overall auto industry saw sales plunge even more. Needless to say, execs are happy: “Three consecutive months of Jaguar and Land Rover growth is a great way to end 2009, and a sign of better times to come,” said Jaguar-Land Rover North America President Gary Temple. “We start 2010 with sales momentum, strong product lineups for both brands, and the launch of the 2011 […]
This isn’t exactly British car news, but Swedish car maker Volvo is heading into Chinese hands, after owner Ford announced that Geely is in pole position to buy the struggling manufacturer. Following in the footsteps of MG Rover’s sale to Shanghai Automotive and Nanjing Automobile, the potential deal marks the latest move by a fast-expanding Chinese car maker to boost its presence in Europe. Negotiations have been ongoing for some time, and it is understood Ford was only willing to enter into discussions once it had evaluated the firm’s Chinese operations. Now the green light has been given, the future of Volvo and the launch of promising upcoming models such as the S60 should be secure. The move will also benefit Geely. Volvo’s research and development expertise and engineering skills will be a huge bonus, as its main interests are […]
I’ve always loved sports cars. I think I got the bug back when I was a young kid growing up in the Richmond district of San Francisco. This was in the 1950s when they would have sports car races through Golden Gate Park. My dad would take me to these sanctioned races, which were held on weekends. I especially remember the MG TDs, Porsches and Allards. But by far the most impressive to me were the Jaguar XK120s, which were the hottest cars out there. As I grew older and started driving, I was drawn to European sports cars. The first two that I owned were used Triumphs, which were all that I could afford at the time. What I really lusted after, though, was one of the Jaguar XK120s that I had fallen in love with at Golden Gate […]
The opening round of the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship has attracted a sensational 83-car field to the Bulldog Historic Rally (Saturday 28 March). Three former British champions and four former British historic champions are all in the entry for the event that tackles 50 miles of prime Welsh forest roads in just four special stages. It promises to be a fabulous start to the 2009 season. Category 1 Category one is for the oldest cars, from the pre ’68 era, and they run first on the road with a short gap before the rest of the historic field. Top of the tree is the Porsche 911 of former champions Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride, but they can expect a stern challenge from the similar car of team mates Stuart Rolt/Richard Pomfret, making a rare but welcome BHRC appearance. Lining up […]
Ford Motor Co.’s Bennie Fowler cheered last week when Jaguar finished in a tie for No. 1 on J.D. Power and Associates’ long-term vehicle dependability study. “I happen to know the guy who was the COO at Jaguar in 2003 when we started making improvements,” said Fowler, who was, indeed, COO of Jaguar in 2003. Today, Fowler is Ford’s group vice president of quality. Back then, Fowler and a team of executives put Ford processes in place at Jaguar to improve quality. Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Group in 2008, but J.D. Power’s dependability study evaluates three-year old, or 2006, models. From Freep.com
Aston Martin may cut as many as 600 jobs, the British sports car brand said today. The possible cuts of 300 full-time jobs along with “a similar number” of temporary positions are part of a discussion between the former Ford Motor Co. subsidiary and its trade union. Aston Martin also said it’s considering other undisclosed cutbacks related to worldwide economic woes and plunging sales. “These are regrettable but necessary measures in the extraordinary market conditions we all now face,” Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez said in a statement. The cutbacks come as the automaker seeks to revive the Lagonda luxury brand to diversify its product mix beyond sports cars.
Ford is in talks with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, China’s biggest car-maker, in a desperate attempt to sell its prestigious Volvo brand. A source close to the American motor giant said it recently made a second approach to SAIC, which already owns the rights to the MG car marque. Earlier talks in the summer faltered over price. Ford, which bought Volvo for £4.4billion in 1999, is said to be hoping the sale will fetch £4 billion. The disposal would send an important signal to the US Congress that Ford is taking major action to restructure its business in return for a massive cash injection.
A faltering auto giant whose brands are synonymous with the open road. Hundreds of thousands of unionized workers with powerful political backers. An urgent plea for the government to write a virtual blank check. This is not the story of Ford and General Motors, but British Leyland, a car company that went through £11 billion of inflation-adjusted British taxpayer money, or $16.5 billion, in the ’70s and ’80s before going out of business. All that is left of the company now are memories of cars like the Triumph, and a painful lesson in the limited effectiveness of bailouts.
Normally I don’t cover any non-UK automotive news, but this one is such a potential game changer that I had to mention it. The New York Times is reporting that Chrysler and GM are in preliminary merger talks. As the article says, “A merger would be a historic event, with two of the most iconic names in American industry coming together to survive in an increasingly difficult environment. Both have roots dating back decades in Detroit and, with Ford, long dominated the auto industry — until Japanese and other foreign car makers began making inroads into the American market.” Amazing times we live in. Oh, and on another front, I dreamed last night that MG started producing a minivan and a Hummer-like SUV. Please, say it ain’t so. I need to stop eating spicy food before bedtime.
Car giant Ford has sold its luxury UK-based car brands Jaguar and Land Rover to Indian company Tata. Tata, India’s biggest vehicle maker, is paying $2.3bn for the British brands after months of negotiations over price and supply relationships. The irony of one time colonies buying and selling the automotive crown jewels Britain has not gone un-noticed. The negotiations started last June when Ford announced its intention to sell the companies as a package. Jaguar and Land Rover employ about 16,000 staff at UK plants in the West Midlands and Merseyside. Although Land Rover remains profitable, Ford has never managed to make money from its investment in Jaguar. Ford has been forced to sell the two companies in order to concentrate on its loss-making core US car business, which it hopes to turn around in the next two years. It […]
Ford is on the verge of selling Jaguar to Indian company Tata after failing to see a return on its investment after nearly 20 years. What caused the British luxury car maker’s decline? When the Ford Motor Company acquired Jaguar in 1989, the American giant was aiming for a slice of the lucrative European luxury-car business – with ambitions to snatch sales from the dominant Germans. Nearly 20 years later, however, Jaguar has yet to post a profit, its sales continue to shrink, and the British brand is about to be offloaded to giant Indian company Tata.
The legendary Ford GT super car has been given a makeover and incredible power boost by a British company to form the Avro 720 Mirage limited edition. Brooklands based Avro Motor Cars has teamed up with Ford engine experts Roush to produce just 10 Avro 720 Mirage – with a top speed in excess of 220mph. To achieve this staggering performance Roush has taken out the standard supercharger and fitted the Avro 720 Mirage with a larger, polished version.