Ford is one of the largest auto makers in the world. However, when the just retired CEO of the company Alan Mulally came in, he made a very keen observation in the then market – that there were very few Fords available.
Usually, the brands that cost the company a lot of money were the ones being driven by executives, among them Jaguars, Aston Martins, Volvos and Land Rovers. In order to refocus as well as generate more cash for the Blue Oval, Mulally decided that all of these brands be sold. In addition to selling these brands, the CEO also sold some of Ford’s stake in Mazda.
Rather than languish, the sold brands found new homes and as of now, they are benefiting from this move by Ford a lot. For instance, Aston Martin split from Ford in 2007 and then went ahead to join a group of investors. Jaguar took a separate direction, heading to over to Tata, an Indian auto maker and this was back in 2008.
China was not to be left behind in these deals as well as a company known as Geely came in and purchased Volvo in 2010. On the other hand, Mazda has remained independent since 2008, but as noted earlier, some shares were also sold.
The rejects are relishing life after Ford
While the most obvious outcome of a recession and product cycles is skewed sales, the brands that Ford considered as rejects are faring on quite amazingly.
When the sales of these castoffs are compared from the first half of 2013 and the same period in 2015, there are lots of improvements. One Mazda recorded an improvement of 8% in total sales while Jaguar also improved with a 7% margin. On the other hand, Land Rover managed a 14% increment, while the biggest gainer was Aston Martin, which managed 48%. On the losing end was Volvo, which dropped by 10%.
Things to get better for Ford rejects in 2016
Jaguar has turned away from their staid designs and now focuses on aggressive styling. The next-gen Jaguar XJ is just but stunning. On the other hand, the mid-size XF is a winner on its own; now there is a 4-cylinder turbocharged or supercharged V8 engine selection available.
What is even more exciting among the new Jaguar models is the F-Type, but the customers will have to first of all settle for the XF crossover that makes its debut this coming year. There will also be another V6 supercharged 340hp XE compact model available in 2016.
Land Rover lovers can also have something to smile about thanks to the wide array of executive class models, among them the V8 supercharged Range Rover LWB Autobiography edition, which costs about $200,000. However, lower end users can also get a Range Rover Sport, Evoque and a trail-worthy Discovery. Later this year, lovers of this brand can get a mid-size Discovery Sport.
On the side of the Volvo brand, a recent product drought has led to reduced sales volume, however, good times are ahead of this brand. There is a new chapter that is set to start with the brand new XC90 crossover.
The fact that Aston Martin is a small name in the auto industry kind of gives the brand a disadvantage, even if the engine technology behind it is from Mercedes Benz. Under this brand, there are amazing models such as a Vanquish supercar that manages 568hp, a V12 Rapide S sedan and a Vantage GT, which costs about $99,900. In short, it always feels special to drive an Aston Martin.
Mazda has stepped up its game a lot. This summer, it unveiled a sportier Mazda2, which is a joy to ride. However, all of the company’s soul rests on the Miata. There is a new, lighter 2016 model coming soon and it looks much sexier and it is more efficient.