LastMercury

Ford to sell PAG: CNN

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DETROIT -(Dow Jones)- Ford Motor Co. (F) has hired Goldman Sachs Group (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) to shop the struggling auto maker's Premier Automotive Group European luxury brands, according to an advance copy of an Automotive News Europe story that cites unnamed sources.

read more at http://money.cnn.com

Sell off all of PAG, discontinue Mercury by 2012... still makes me worry about the future of FoMoCo.

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Ford had (still has) an enormous opportunity to leverage the resources and expertise of all PAG divisions to its huge advantage. Spread around Volvo's safety technology, share advanced-technology platform costs between Lincoln and Jaguar, Share Ford's hybrid technology with PAG brands.

sigh

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This is sad.

This is really sad.

I'd be happier if Ford would merge with BMW or somebody.

Just Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury + Mazda?

That is a fate worse than being bought up like Chrysler did.

All that money on XF. The brand new Freelander. Taurus, Sable, Taurus X, S80, Mondeo, Flex, S-MAX, MAZDA 3, Volvo S40/V50, Focus Euro.

So many fruits of labor and that Ford wont be able to bask in for long. They will have to find money to develop a next-gen of all these vehicles. Impossible

That is just sad. Chrysler was OK, but this is really sad to me.

It is only a matter of time before Renault or VW or BMW or Fiat step in and take away one of Detroit's finest icons.

:nono:

Edited by dimitri0917
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Keep in mind this is all SPECULATION. No official word. I'll believe it when I see it.

On the bright side: Ford can give Lincoln and Mercury more of the attention they deserve if this does happen. However, losing Jaguar and Land Rover would hurt...I have heard that if one goes, the other likely will go with as a package deal since they are pretty much tied together. I don't think Ford will sell Volvo if it does come to it, however.

Edited by mustang84
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I'd sell Land Rover to the Chinese company that restarted MG Rover. They can have Jaguar too. British know-how, the reunification of Rover's brands (excepting MINI), Chinese money, match made in heaven (if the Chinese restrict their say-so to opening up the wallet and keeping the labor cheap).

Ford should put the money into taking their own homegrown brands to another level and competing with those (like was hoped for with Lincoln seven years ago).

Edited by LosAngeles
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Hmm.. I don't know. Sounds pretty drastic and Ford would lose a pretty big chunk of the market, even though these are niche brands with the exception of Volvo. Could they be preparing the company for a future merger?

I don't know where you got the idea about Mercury.. unless I missed something over the past few weeks. I was beginning to hope that Ford was going to start importing the more expensive European models under the Mercury brand name much like what GM is starting to do with Saturn, but I haven't heard anything to support that idea.

Back to PAG, if Ford were really selling off all their luxury brands, I'm sure there are some Chinese investors ready to pluck those brands up right away.

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This is upsetting. I hope Volvo doesn't stray away from it's current gen styling ques. I love volvos. My mom's XC90 is great, and I am really eyeing an S40. I'm actually starting to work at a Volvo dealership on the 18th. Maybe I'll hear word or something. Either way, if it does go to BMW, I'm pretty sure they'll keep the european, safe, economical image.

-Joe

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Very interesting news.

I had assumed that Ford would keep PAG after they secured that big loan, do they really need that much more money? But then again, I had also assumed Mercury would be gone. This makes me think Ford has big plans to reshape Mercury and Lincoln and we'll see some fast and furious product turnaround toward the end of the decade.

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i think its a mistake to get rid of volvo.

this is kind of like the titanic movie, a very definite turning point, where the lovely nubile kate and leo get done having sex and then bam, the boat hits the big iceberg and all $h! hits the fan.

Edited by regfootball
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Stop talking about the Chinese. Let them take 20-30 more years to build competitive cars. Why would you want to see some of the best (ok, maybe just MY favorite) Euro-American owned brands go to what's basically America's next big economic & political enemy?

I could let Aston Martin go...it's a supercar division and they need the money. The rest of the British companies however are a different story. Land Rover is getting a host of new product (that looks pretty damn decent by the way) and Jaguar has taken a great new direction with the XK and the upcoming sedan (XF?).

As for Volvo, didn't BMW want to buy it, but Ford speciafically say it wasn't selling it. I think I read something like that...

I'm a GM fan before anything else, but I would love to see Ford start to make a GM-like turnaround..keep all its divisions..maybe even get ALL of Mazda..and be as big of a player globally as it is in Europe.

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A mistake to get rid of Land Rover since it's actually making money, doesn't require too much, and is an important brand.

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IF this ends up being true, I agree with many who have already commented: This would be sad news.

Some of the PAG vehicles DOMINATE my shopping lists (along with the competitive Cadillac (2) and Saab (1) offerings) and the shopping lists of my friends and family whom I have convinced to not send $45-80K checks to Japan or Gemany. This is especially true until all of the Zetas arrive.

They're not always the absolute best choices in their respective classes, but at least some of the money comes trickling back to my country, which is pretty much to only reason to ever buy anything over German offerings in this price range (two LR products and the 2008 CTS being the most notable exceptions).

What's left after those of us who feel this way can no longer buy PAG vehicles? We all have to choose from the Escalade/Yukon-D, CTS, and the one decent Saab??? Great choices, but that becomes a very short shopping list, and people will start defecting in even greater numbers to German products.

Trying to convince people around me to buy domestics or (if it has to be foreign) to only buy GM/Ford-owned foreign products was already hard enough.

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Stop talking about the Chinese. Let them take 20-30 more years to build competitive cars. Why would you want to see some of the best (ok, maybe just MY favorite) Euro-American owned brands go to what's basically America's next big economic & political enemy?

I don't think anyone here said they want the Chinese to buy up these companies but we're just stating what could be a possibility.

Why should we ignore reality? China is well on its way to becoming a superpower both politically and economically. Some of the future's most wealthiest people/companies are going to come out of that country over the next few decades. They've already begun in some cases and they need to start spending their capital somewhere.

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The only one they need to get rid of is the Jaguar.
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Now that Lincoln no longer uses the AJV8 and the AJV6s have been replaced by the Duratec 35 and Volvo's I5 Turbo (which burns a ton of fuel), it could be feasible. SAIC should be making an offer even if Ford wasn't going to sell them. SGM-UK anyone?

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Anyone else think it would be really weird if British Leyland were to somehow reform...under Chinese ownership?

MG and Rover are already there (and there's talk of reviving the Austin brand for small cars). Land Rover would be an easy next step. Jaguar - a little tougher for the world to swallow due to the considerable legacy, but made easier as a package with LR since they both share the AJ V8.

Now, if I recall correctly, doesn't BMW still own the rights to Triumph and Riley? It only takes a phone call to Shanghai if BMW needs cash... :scratchchin:

As for Volvo, I think Ford would be making a mistake there - I don't think it ever should have been regarded as part of the dubious PAG combine anyway. Volvo is on the absolute leading edge in regards to chassis and safety technology, and still has a rock-solid level of brand awareness around the world. Keeping them along with Mazda (as sort of a global division) would be the best option, I think.

Also, Ford Europe and Ford Australia need to be folded together with the American arm and leveraged as a worldwide, universal brand - the economies of scale make much more sense now than they might have before. There's no reason to have three different design strategies and numerous platforms anymore.

What Ford should have been doing for a while now seems to be fairly obvious if this story turns out to be true:

* Ford must very quickly offer a full line to match Chevrolet and the Japanese. (The new Fiesta, the Shelby-coupe-thing, and the Flex anti-van will be a help.)

* Lincoln must move way back to upscale, back to its prime 1960s level in which it was regarded as a higher-quality, better-engineered car than Cadillac.

* Mercury needs to take over the cheaper models that Lincoln will necessarily drop. (The MKX would be a good start, giving Merc their own Edge-type SUV.)

* Volvo needs to be retained (I can't stress this enough) and given a forward role in chassis and powertrain development, as does...

* Mazda, which will compete with Volvo for leadership in engineering. The best concepts from either division will then be adopted or adapted by the Americans.

Please refer, of course, to the ex-DaimlerChrysler for numerous good examples of how NOT to run a globally-integrated automotive empire.

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* Lincoln must move way back to upscale, back to its prime 1960s level in which it was regarded as a higher-quality, better-engineered car than Cadillac.

Let's not forget styling. IMO, never has a Lincoln exceeded a Cadillac in style, grace, and grandeur. Lincolns always reaked of old money; yeah, they had class, but a stuffy class. Cadillac was progressive, aggressive, a bit dirtier, but the kind of nasty you liked. Sure, the dash rattles a bit and you have to jiggle the handle a bit and the convertible top didn't fit quite right, but damned if it all didn't look alot better going down the road than a Lincoln. Even when Cadillacs were gaudy and overwrought, they became iconic; when Lincolns were overwrought, they just looked disgusting.

Now, Lincoln had something in the past 8 years or so, and none of it was production. Continental, Mark IX, Mark X, even the NaviCross. They all looked good, and - especially in the Continental - they looked great. Instead, they threw it all to the wind and unveiled the tepid excuses they have now. I'm sure the MKS will be fine, but it won't be a Continental. Ever. And that's why my faith in Lincoln is very, very thin.

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And "The Street" has it's way... AGAIN.

The only reason "The Street" has lambasted FoMoCo for the past 5 years is because of this; so they can profit from splitting the company in half.

Thanks to the media and "the street" We now have Ford splitting up, Chrysler being "re-habed" to be split up and GM as the last frontier to destroying an entire industry and disgracing an entire century of american ingenuity.

Now we can make americans forget about more national treasures and allow sellouts to take a piss on the next most prominent symbols of national pride.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articl...NLINE000505.htm

PAG made $402 million in profit in the first quarter and Jag is coming out with the new XF in the next few months; selling PAG right now would be very near-sighted. Even though Mulally is calling it an "option," common sense says that is all it is.

Posted Image

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http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articl...NLINE000505.htm

PAG made $402 million in profit in the first quarter and Jag is coming out with the new XF in the next few months; selling PAG right now would be very near-sighted. Even though Mulally is calling it an "option," common sense says that is all it is.

Posted Image

God, I love that shape. So much more appealing than the S-Type - it's not even specifically European-looking, it's just stunning.

Here's hoping they don't sell Jag...I could honestly not care less what happens to LR, though.

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It's been reported in all the serious financial press here in London. And Jaguar / LandRover are not included in the mortgage security for Ford's recent refinancing. I would assume it's going to happen.

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Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if a private equity group (Blackstone, Carlyle) picked up Jag and LR, and BMW bought Volvo. They've been interested in Volvo for some time now. If this is true, it's possibly a chance to truly focus on Lincoln and Mercury; both are starved for attention. Lincoln could be resurrected (a la' Caddy), and should be a true lux maker. Merucry truly needs an identity; whether it be a sporty brand (a la' Pontiac), or a green brand. Ford's brand should be fleshed out and cover every segment, like Chevy and Toyota. Ford lost alot of focus managing all of the brands; I think it was more than they could handle. Personally, I'd hate to see the PAG go; however, if they do go, it's not the end of the world, IMO.

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Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if a private equity group (Blackstone, Carlyle) picked up Jag and LR, and BMW bought Volvo. They've been interested in Volvo for some time now. If this is true, it's possibly a chance to truly focus on Lincoln and Mercury; both are starved for attention. Lincoln could be resurrected (a la' Caddy), and should be a true lux maker. Merucry truly needs an identity; whether it be a sporty brand (a la' Pontiac), or a green brand. Ford's brand should be fleshed out and cover every segment, like Chevy and Toyota. Ford lost alot of focus managing all of the brands; I think it was more than they could handle. Personally, I'd hate to see the PAG go; however, if they do go, it's not the end of the world, IMO.

BMW buying Volvo would be like Cadillac buying Lincoln - they're almost one and the same as far as the market goes. (Well, not exactly, but you get the point.) I will repeat that selling Volvo would be a huge mistake for Ford in the long run - unless they've got some serious engineering work going on at home that I'm not yet aware of. (Or maybe they'll just farm everything out to Mazda...)

And anyway, I think BMW needs to keep itself focused. Remember their fun adventure with the Rover Group? <_< Yeah, let's not repeat that.

Jaguar and Land Rover would be a good purchase as a group - they complement each other nicely, and the new XF and XK are prizes for the lucky bidder.

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Some separate thoughts on Mercury...why not make it a budget boutique brand?

Say you want a luxury compact - the Milan, there you go. How about one step further, and make that Milan an autocross-handling performance machine? Just add an "XR" option package and a manual trans.

Maybe you'd like a Grand Marquis, but without all the chrome? Tick the "monochrome exterior" box. Or you want that same Grand Marquis with a Mustang GT engine and a sport suspension? Check off the "Turnpike Cruiser" box too.

Perhaps you like the Mountaineer, and wish it had a little more off-road prowess? Add a "Sun Valley" suspension group and get chunkier tires with beefier shocks.

Mercury will always be a luxurious Ford - I don't really think there's any shame in that. Where Mercury should differ is in offering a little bit more than the average - at a price, of course, and only if the buyer is willing. Like a slightly classier alternative to Pontiac or Dodge, which is kind of where the brand hit its stride back in the mid-1960s.

Just thoughts - expand if you wish. :)

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