Mixed News Day for Ford

June 11th, 2007

Today the Ford Motor Company can bask in the limelight of a number of prominent headlines. Publications on both shores of the Atlantic had stories focused on the U.S. automaker.

Here in the United States, Ford Motor Company earned flattering attention in J.D. Power’s just-published 2007 Initial Quality Study Results. Power’s summary of key findings in this year’s report points out that Ford’s Land Rover nameplate earned most-improved status in this year’s survey, and Lincoln moved from a #12 ranking last year to #3 in this year’s survey, trailing only Lexus and Porsche, the #1 nameplate featured in this year’s study. Mercedes-Benz also earned praise in the new study, having won top honors in a number of segments of the study. You can read more details and results of the study on the J.D. Power site.

On the far side of the Atlantic, the business press focused on different Ford news. The BBC credits the Financial Times as the first reporters of news that Ford has named Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and HSBC to sell its Land Rover and Jaguar nameplates. Those two brands are part of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, which also included Aston Martin, until that brand was sold to a UK-based business group in March of this year. According to the BBC, Ford has neither confirmed nor denied that Land Rover and Jaguar are for sale. Read more at the BBC.

Despite its most-improved status in the J.D. Power study, Land Rover has not performed well for Ford business-wise, which continues to combat losses. Many American car manufacturers have “gone green” with new hybrid models and increased attention to fuel efficiency, so perhaps Ford’s sale of a brand clearly focused on large, luxurious SUVs shouldn’t come as a surprise.

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