While Jaguar and Land Rover are still on the sales block, Ford is continuing to fund product development programs for the two British Luxury brands. Ford insiders have recently said that the company had frozen funding on future product development when both went up for sale. However, last week top executives denied that funding has not been stopped.
“The business plan we’re showing to prospective buyers had to be backed by product,” said Al Kammerer, product development director for Jaguar and Land Rover. “Ford is willing to support writing down the existing cycle plan.”
Managing director of Jaguar said “There has been no hiatus in product development investment from Ford Motor Company.”
The Land Rover LRX concept shown at Detroit could be entering production in 2009 said Phil Popham, Land Rover”s managing director. Land Rover is also funding U.S. work needed to put diesel engines in vehicles sold here as early as the fall of 2010.
“It’s not a short-term investment to develop and federalize diesels,” Popham said.
Currently, the leading bidder for the two British brands is Tata Motors. Ford sources have said that a final memorandum could be signed as soon as the end of the month.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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