Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lenovo, IBM, Tata, Jaguar

FT, via rediff, dissects Tatas proposed takeover of the Jaguar brand. Is there a parallel between the takeover of IBM by Lenovo and this one?

Firstly, I am not sure if Jaguar and Land Rover can be taken in the same breath. Between the two there is a big difference. Jaguar is surely a marque brand, but Land Rover is not a luxury brand by any length of logic. (Correction: Thanks to Karthik below it turns out both are fairly high end brands.) (To me both the brands are more of an oldish brand). Obviously there is no overlap between Tata and the Jaguar brand, but that is how companies build their portfolio. Tatas launching something like Toyotas Lexus will take many years if they did not take a route like this.

Interesting suggestions through the article. In case they care to remember, Tata recently took over Corus. Now for an automobile, they control everything from the mine to the brand. Does not sound too bad right - how many other companies can boast of that?


Karthik said...

Jaguar is in deep doo-doo. The company's reputation in the US is non-existent, mainly due to its troubles with quality/reliability. And using common parts with Ford doesn't really add value to a luxury brand. But the up coming models do look good and a lot is riding on them.

Land Rover is definitely considered a luxury brand here in the US. Their entry level model starts at in the mid 30s. The Range Rover can go almost as high as 90-100K. If that's not luxury, I don't know what is. In fact Ford had a froup named PAG (Premier Auto Group) just for the luxury brands -- Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo.

Again, the problem for both of the brands is they build big, powerful, low-mileage vehicles. But with the upcoming emphasis on CO2 reductions and increases in mpg in both Europe and the US (their biggest markets), their troubles will only increase.

In spite of the negative connotations (to the Jag and LR brand) that Tata's takeover will imply (India, low-tech et al), if there's anyone that can turn these also-rans around, it would be Tata.

Numbers for 2007:

Neelakantan said...

Thanks Karthik, I stand corrected.