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Old 11-04-2002, 07:59   #1 (permalink)
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Ford is rethinking PAG's superfast growth strategy

By Bradford Wernle
Automotive News Europe / November 04, 2002


Ford officials are no longer talking about the ambitious growth targets they once cited for the Premier Automotive Group.
For example, neither Nick Scheele, president and chief operating officer of Ford Motor Co., nor Premier Chairman Mark Fields will say when Jaguar will begin selling 200,000 units a year.

That sales target was part of the long-term strategy under Jac Nasser, ex-Ford CEO, and Wolfgang Reitzle, Fields' predecessor. Fields was appointed Premier chairman last spring.
Premier was formed in March 1999 shortly after Ford bought Volvo. Ford rolled the Swedish company in with Jaguar, Aston Martin and Lincoln and later added Land Rover.

"The real target for Premier, which in this case includes Lincoln-Mercury, is to hit 35 percent of $7 billion (E7.07 billion) of total Ford Motor Co. profit by mid-decade," said Scheele.
Jaguar in particular has suffered growing pains. Jaguar overestimated demand for X-type and has also experienced a "challenging" launch of the new flagship XJ, Scheele said.

"We've grown at a phenomenal pace over the last year - Jaguar sales are up 60 percent worldwide," said Fields. "But we have to make sure it's sustainable growth."
Fields said tremendous pressure was put on Premier's distribution network.

"When you grow at such a rate, you also put pressure internally on the organization," Fields said. "And you need to make sure that you can have a digestible rate of growth going forward."
Matthew Taylor, director of sales, marketing and service for Jaguar and Land Rover, said Jaguar must now concentrate on keeping the new customers it won.

Taylor said: "If we want to grow in the future, we have to move our loyalty level up to same levels Mercedes-Benz and BMW enjoy."
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