Jaguar is an automotive manufacturer of fine automobiles. It has a prestigious British heritage steeped in luxury and performance. However, for the last three or four decades, Jaguar has found itself struggling, then purchased by another company, then cash infused. Now comes word that Jaguar is struggling again. So, it seems the cycle begins again.
The feast and famine Jaguar cycle
Jaguar was a company that was struggling to stay alive in the 1980s. Consequently, Ford bought them in 1989. Ford offered a lot of updated technology to the manufacturer, as well as some platform sharing opportunities. The fresh cash from Ford helped the company revive, if only for a little bit. In the process, in 1999, Ford re-organized Jaguar into its new Premier Automotive Group, along with the other high-end brands Ford owned, Aston Martin, Land Rover, and Volvo. But, the economy changed, and soon, Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors.
The cycle was restarted. The sale of Jaguar brought with it a fresh cash infusion from Tata. Jaguar had new funds, new blood, and started to make some changes to its lineup. But hang on, the cycle does not end there because the economy has changed drastically as a result of people moving away from cars and the infiltration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The struggle is real
According to Automotive News Europe, Jaguar has paused the timeline for some of its updates to models. The Coronavirus impact will be studied, and a pause will help to improve the company’s finances. Interestingly, the automaker was already in a financial bind prior to this pause due to a slump in Chinese sales in 2019. Felix Braeutigam, Jaguar and Land Rover’s Marketing Chief, will be heading up the review.
The review will also consider how to reposition the Jaguar brand according to P B Balaji, Finance Chief at Tata Motors. He said, “It’s not an easy task. [Jaguar] is very renowned brand with a lot of salience in a lot of markets, yet in some markets, it’s not as strong as it ought to be,” and, “The team is focusing squarely on what is the brand positioning of Jaguar and how we are going to make it sharper. And how we ensure the portfolio we have is in sync with that position.”
Speculations of the future of Jaguar
I am going to speculate. So, please keep that in mind, it is speculation. But, typically in business, if a brand review is being performed due to underperformance, then re-organizations are near, and possibly consolidations of markets, or products within the markets typically follow. I am not saying Jaguar is going to be sold soon. I do not think it is that bad yet. More than likely, a trimming of available models looks possible in the near future. However, given the cyclical nature of the company’s past, this is the stage where the money is extremely tight, and they will suffer along for a few more years, and maybe, just maybe, they might have a suitor come along and make an offer, again.
With all that said, I hope I am wrong. I hope Jaguar pulls off stellar sales figures that right the ship and break the cycle. But, it does beg the question, why does no one want to own Jaguar for long?