John Crawford worked for Jaguar for over 20 years as its PR Vice President (Head) in both Australia and North America. He understands Jaguar better than anyone else who can express it in words, and is brutally honest in what he has to say about its future now under Tata Motors.
He has written his assessment of the problems Jaguar has now and it is not pretty.
Here are some excerpts from his story in our coming edition – it will raise everybody’s eyebrows, and tell you about the people at the top.
WHY JAGUAR’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED by John Crawford
“If, as I fear, Jaguar really has been shown to a table in the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ then it’s worthwhile taking you back in time, to the point where I think the final proofreading of Jaguar’s death warrant was ready for the printers.
It’s 1999, and Ford has owned Jaguar for ten years. Jaguar was in deep crap when Ford took over, and some very experienced and skilled Ford executives put their heart and soul into ‘saving’ Jaguar – most notably Bill Hayden, Nick Scheele and Jim Padilla.
Their combined efforts revitalised Jaguar bringing about massive quality improvements, and refining the many processes needed to create, design and make great cars.
… Ford CEO Alex Trotman pursued Jaguar ruthlessly.
… The nails for Jaguar’s coffin were already being forged after Ford’s decision to hire ex-BMW executive Wolfgang Reitzle to run its PAG (Premier Automotive Group of which Jaguar was part).
… Reitzle’s PAG marriage lasted just three years, ending in 2002, but in that time Reitzle revealed just how little he thought of British managers, because he terminated all Jaguar’s ‘old hands’ who knew the Jaguar company and the product lines backwards. All of the key jobs went to Land Rover or Range Rover managers – who were mostly all ex-Rover Group.
Those Land Rover managers soon made short work of getting rid of the few remaining Jaguar brand people, and their places were filled by failed managers from the various German brands.
… So, what’s left for Jaguar now? This is the most critical time for Jaguar in my 45 year association with the brand, and having served for almost 20 years directly helping to sustain Jaguar’s survival, I truly think it’s currently on life support, with death impending. Today, the Jaguar company lacks every single one of its (core) attributes.
PS: (and this is the “I told you so, moment.”). Dateline: London, November 26, 2022 – Jaguar Land Rover is cutting production at its UK factories until Spring 2023, in a sign of its continuing struggle to source semi-conductors amid the global shortage.
This is code for, we can’t afford to make any more vehicles than we can sell, and we already have a glut of unsold vehicles in the UK and global markets. You’ll have to waiting until March 2023 to hear the next ‘lame’ explanation about hopes for JLR’s survival.”
You be even more amazed when you read ALL of what he has written about Jaguar, its former leaders and how it got itself into the dreadful spot it is now embroiled in.
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