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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Detroit Ostrich Farm: Jaguar Not For Sale? (F)

Jaguar is not for sale. Neither is Land Rover. Volvo is not for sale, either.

Ford Motor company said today that it does not plan to sell its premium brands. Not now, anyway.

Ford's premier auto group, which includes these brands, lost $162 million in the second quarter of this year. It is reported that Jaquar may have lost over $1.4 billion last year.

BusinessWeek says Land Rover makes a small profit.

It is difficult to see the advantage of owning these brands. If Ford wants to collapse some of them in with Lincoln, there might be some logic. Lincold does not have a good sedan. Volvo and Jaquar do. The L3 Land Rover gets poor rankings in JDPowers. The Volvo SUV is well-regarded.

If Ford is going to roll together some of its high-end brands, elimate dealers and cut out models that do not sell well, it makes some sense. But, with the company on the ropes, keeping all of them is a disasterous mistake.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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