[concours] Jaguar/Ford (long)

Dear Fellow Listers:

First, with all the strife in the world, let’s
please have some PEACE among us. Like (us)
here in the USA, we have to (and fortunately have)
put aside our differences and are reconnecting with the
fact that we are all Americans. But this is not another
quasi-political post as in recent times on the list,
but there are some analogies that we can learn from here.

Some say in the US, that “We are now all New Yorkers”.
Let’s put a twist on that and rephrase it –

"We are all Jaguarians"

Whether you own, drive, or have an affinity for an older
Jaguar (e.g. MK V), classics like the E-Type, or love
your XJ-S or X300, they are all Jaguars. Now for the
controversial part of this post…

Jaguar would never have survived as an independent
manufacturer if they had not been bought. Ford did
so in 1989. As the old (American) sayings go, this is
both “Water Under The Bridge” and that “The Proof Is
In The Pudding”. For proof to these statements, just
look at the cars that Jaguar are producing today!

I am fortunate to have driven every post war engine
that Jaguar have made. It is amazing how similar
(for their times) all of them are, along with the
non-quantitative and subjective “feel” of “Britishness”
that each of these cars offers.

Say what you will, but Ford Motor is an excellent company.
They are well managed, have excellent engineering,
very good product quality control, and are a major force
in the automotive global market. Just because a part
was manufactured by FOMoCo and it winds up in a Jaguar
does not mean that this is a bad thing. If you really
are objective, I believe that actually it is a good
thing. Here are my reasons and opinions why.
Respectfully Consider:

a) Quality control of Jaguars in general in
the past, but especially under BL. Those poorly made
(but well designed and beautifully crafted) cars are now
considered by most Jaguarians as classics today. Never mind
the sub par gaskets, washers, hoses, and poor fit and
finish problems–along with dreadful reliability (as built).

b) Current Jaguar products are at or near the top
of the J.D. Powers Customer Survey. Considering that,
even without the survetude to BL hanging over their
heads in the '80s, or under our patron saint, Sir
William Lyons before that, Jaguar couldn’t ever break
into the top 25 of this elite circle.

c) There are actually more than two models offered for
the first time in 15+ years. In fact for a time in
1980-1981, Jaguar didn’t even sell the XJ-S (such irony
as this was perhaps the car that saved the company.) Keeping
this (lack of) models in mind, how much excitement can an
auto maker have if you walk into the showroom and there are
only one or two different cars to choose from? Almost
all other manufacturers have at least a half dozen (or
more) models/combinations to choose from. Now, so does Jaguar.

The great Lee Iaccoa once said that “The best car that
you can possibly build”, (followed by a reflective pause and
a smile), “…is one people will BUY.” Today, Jaguar are
selling a LOT of cars–more so in their history. And, as
a businessman myself, they are actually making a profit at
it. That’s what car manufacturers do and why they exist,
as all businesses, namely, to sell cars that people will
buy and make a profit. And in Jaguar’s case (along with
fellow elite stablemates of Aston Martin and Rover), to so
so in a marketing way that distiguishes from the rest.

As enthusiasts, we lose sight of this very easily because
we are routinely spending more money on our cars than they
are financially worth. There are not too many other hobbies
where this is not true! But car making is a business, not
a hobby, and Jaguar (and parent Ford) have not the luxury
of making old world crafted cars in this competitive high tech age.

Those on the XJ-S list that have really torn into their cars
know that it’s not the big stuff, but the little stuff that
bogs you down. Like a vent servo that won’t open, or door
lock or hood (top) which goes up or down inconsistently, or
antenna that won’t retract. Jaguar cars does NOT make those
parts. Most shudder when they learn that it is a Lucas ghost
they have to contend with (yet again), so why is it a “bad
thing” if its a Ford part instead?? Is Lucas better than Ford?

We’ve had Fords in our families for years, and generally speaking
they have been good reliable cars. Locks and vents work, AC
works. There are no electrical problems. In other words, they worked.
So having a Ford switch, power window or antenna motor, or
even engine components is not a bad thing, but a good thing
because they work.

In my view, and the view of the majority of economists, few
companies can afford to do business as they did 20, 30–or
50 years ago. Jaguar must use state-of-the-art production
techniques to lower production costs, raise profits, and
increase quality. I have been to the factories at Brown’s
Lane, and especially at Castle Bromwich, where I, as a software
engineer/architect was totally amazed by the just-in-time
production techniques, and high use of robotics and automation
used to make these latest Jaguars. There was no doubt in my mind
that they (Jaguar) were producing a very high quality product–
even using Japanese made Hitachi robots to do so!

Lastly, and back to economics, Ford (and Jaguar) would be
foolish to run both divisions as if the other did not exist.
I believe (personally speaking) that Jaguars ought to continue to
be built in Britain by the British. That’s part of the
aire of the Jaguar feel. But a well built or designed Ford
part built in Cleveland (for example) can and should be
integrated into Jaguars if it makes both economic and design
“sense”. Passengers in Jaguars don’t feel or see (American made)
cylinder blocks or window motors, but the overall end effect
is the “Jaguar Experience”. As I have written before, “You get
there in other cars, but you arrive in a Jaguar.”

That’s what I still feel when driving my 1989 Jaguars. Even my
‘old dinosaur’ XJ-S has the same mirrors as a 1988 Jeep
Wagonner, a Detroit made GM transmission, German Bosch Fuel injection,
Italian Marelli ignition, and miscellaneous Japanese made semi
conductors and parts.

So what was that you were saying about Ford parts in Jaguars?

“A bird in the hand is worth,
well–a bird in the hand” :wink:

Wayne Estrada
Richmond, Virginia, USA
1989 XJ-S Convertible (Dorchester Grey)
1989 Vanden Plas Sedan (Alpine Green)

Please visit my Jaguar Cars Web Site at
http://www.U3Training.com/jaguar

Amen! Thanks too for the great website.

Mark

'90 vdp V12----- Original Message -----
From: “Wayne Estrada” wayne@server1.hostyou.com
To: concours@jag-lovers.com; v12-engine@jag-lovers.com;
xj-s@jag-lovers.com
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2001 10:30 AM
Subject: [concours] Jaguar/Ford (long)

Dear Fellow Listers:

First, with all the strife in the world, let’s
please have some PEACE among us. Like (us)
here in the USA, we have to (and fortunately have)
put aside our differences and are reconnecting with the
fact that we are all Americans. But this is not another
quasi-political post as in recent times on the list,
but there are some analogies that we can learn from here.

Some say in the US, that “We are now all New Yorkers”.
Let’s put a twist on that and rephrase it –

"We are all Jaguarians"

Whether you own, drive, or have an affinity for an older
Jaguar (e.g. MK V), classics like the E-Type, or love
your XJ-S or X300, they are all Jaguars. Now for the
controversial part of this post…

Jaguar would never have survived as an independent
manufacturer if they had not been bought. Ford did
so in 1989. As the old (American) sayings go, this is
both “Water Under The Bridge” and that “The Proof Is
In The Pudding”. For proof to these statements, just
look at the cars that Jaguar are producing today!

I am fortunate to have driven every post war engine
that Jaguar have made. It is amazing how similar
(for their times) all of them are, along with the
non-quantitative and subjective “feel” of “Britishness”
that each of these cars offers.

Say what you will, but Ford Motor is an excellent company.
They are well managed, have excellent engineering,
very good product quality control, and are a major force
in the automotive global market. Just because a part
was manufactured by FOMoCo and it winds up in a Jaguar
does not mean that this is a bad thing. If you really
are objective, I believe that actually it is a good
thing. Here are my reasons and opinions why.
Respectfully Consider:

a) Quality control of Jaguars in general in
the past, but especially under BL. Those poorly made
(but well designed and beautifully crafted) cars are now
considered by most Jaguarians as classics today. Never mind
the sub par gaskets, washers, hoses, and poor fit and
finish problems–along with dreadful reliability (as built).

b) Current Jaguar products are at or near the top
of the J.D. Powers Customer Survey. Considering that,
even without the survetude to BL hanging over their
heads in the '80s, or under our patron saint, Sir
William Lyons before that, Jaguar couldn’t ever break
into the top 25 of this elite circle.

c) There are actually more than two models offered for
the first time in 15+ years. In fact for a time in
1980-1981, Jaguar didn’t even sell the XJ-S (such irony
as this was perhaps the car that saved the company.) Keeping
this (lack of) models in mind, how much excitement can an
auto maker have if you walk into the showroom and there are
only one or two different cars to choose from? Almost
all other manufacturers have at least a half dozen (or
more) models/combinations to choose from. Now, so does Jaguar.

The great Lee Iaccoa once said that “The best car that
you can possibly build”, (followed by a reflective pause and
a smile), “…is one people will BUY.” Today, Jaguar are
selling a LOT of cars–more so in their history. And, as
a businessman myself, they are actually making a profit at
it. That’s what car manufacturers do and why they exist,
as all businesses, namely, to sell cars that people will
buy and make a profit. And in Jaguar’s case (along with
fellow elite stablemates of Aston Martin and Rover), to so
so in a marketing way that distiguishes from the rest.

As enthusiasts, we lose sight of this very easily because
we are routinely spending more money on our cars than they
are financially worth. There are not too many other hobbies
where this is not true! But car making is a business, not
a hobby, and Jaguar (and parent Ford) have not the luxury
of making old world crafted cars in this competitive high tech age.

Those on the XJ-S list that have really torn into their cars
know that it’s not the big stuff, but the little stuff that
bogs you down. Like a vent servo that won’t open, or door
lock or hood (top) which goes up or down inconsistently, or
antenna that won’t retract. Jaguar cars does NOT make those
parts. Most shudder when they learn that it is a Lucas ghost
they have to contend with (yet again), so why is it a “bad
thing” if its a Ford part instead?? Is Lucas better than Ford?

We’ve had Fords in our families for years, and generally speaking
they have been good reliable cars. Locks and vents work, AC
works. There are no electrical problems. In other words, they worked.
So having a Ford switch, power window or antenna motor, or
even engine components is not a bad thing, but a good thing
because they work.

In my view, and the view of the majority of economists, few
companies can afford to do business as they did 20, 30–or
50 years ago. Jaguar must use state-of-the-art production
techniques to lower production costs, raise profits, and
increase quality. I have been to the factories at Brown’s
Lane, and especially at Castle Bromwich, where I, as a software
engineer/architect was totally amazed by the just-in-time
production techniques, and high use of robotics and automation
used to make these latest Jaguars. There was no doubt in my mind
that they (Jaguar) were producing a very high quality product–
even using Japanese made Hitachi robots to do so!

Lastly, and back to economics, Ford (and Jaguar) would be
foolish to run both divisions as if the other did not exist.
I believe (personally speaking) that Jaguars ought to continue to
be built in Britain by the British. That’s part of the
aire of the Jaguar feel. But a well built or designed Ford
part built in Cleveland (for example) can and should be
integrated into Jaguars if it makes both economic and design
“sense”. Passengers in Jaguars don’t feel or see (American made)
cylinder blocks or window motors, but the overall end effect
is the “Jaguar Experience”. As I have written before, “You get
there in other cars, but you arrive in a Jaguar.”

That’s what I still feel when driving my 1989 Jaguars. Even my
‘old dinosaur’ XJ-S has the same mirrors as a 1988 Jeep
Wagonner, a Detroit made GM transmission, German Bosch Fuel injection,
Italian Marelli ignition, and miscellaneous Japanese made semi
conductors and parts.

So what was that you were saying about Ford parts in Jaguars?

“A bird in the hand is worth,
well–a bird in the hand” :wink:

Wayne Estrada
Richmond, Virginia, USA
1989 XJ-S Convertible (Dorchester Grey)
1989 Vanden Plas Sedan (Alpine Green)

Please visit my Jaguar Cars Web Site at
http://www.U3Training.com/jaguar

Good points, all, and of course the business case for Jaguar or Ford is
much different than those ‘Jaguarians’ with their hobbies.

So in a way we have our cake and eat it, too. We have our older cars, we
can continue to enjoy and maintain and improve them, and the world still
has a Jaguar.

JohnOn Thu, 27 Sep 2001, Wayne Estrada wrote:

Dear Fellow Listers:

-To unsubscribe go to

I’ve been convinced of the benefits for a long time. Jaguar has been
energized since the mid 90s in a way that couldn’t have happened otherwise.

In 94, all Jaguar had to offer was a 20 year old design, the XJS, and a
saloon which design had its roots nearly 15 years before… The AJ6 while a
great engine was not exactly new and the V12 was a magnificient engine but
dated.

7 years later, we have 3 different saloons to choose from and a sports car
capable of competing with the best…

However, I only really realized what an accomplishment this was untill I
test drove an base model X-type last month. A Jaguar which feels like a
Jaguar, is fun to drive and yet sells for just over what a comparatively
equipped car sells for… So what if it has some Ford components ! It
couldn’t have been done otherwise.

Pascal
72 2+2
99 XJR
00 XKR

-To unsubscribe go to

What a great explanation and a timely answer… Thanks, Wayne…

I owned a Ford Fairlane hearse once…

excellent for camping.
Cheers,

-all for ford- '76Jurgen

                Wayne Estrada                                                                                      
                <wayne@server1.ho        To:     concours@jag-lovers.com, v12-engine@jag-lovers.com,               
                styou.com>               xj-s@jag-lovers.com                                                       
                Sent by:                 cc:                                                                       
                owner-xj-s@jag-lo        Subject:     [xj-s] Jaguar/Ford (long)                                    
                vers.org                                                                                           
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
                27/09/2001 18:30                                                                                   

Dear Fellow Listers:

First, with all the strife in the world, let’s
please have some PEACE among us. Like (us)
here in the USA, we have to (and fortunately have)
put aside our differences and are reconnecting with the
fact that we are all Americans. But this is not another
quasi-political post as in recent times on the list,
but there are some analogies that we can learn from here.

snip…
Wagonner, a Detroit made GM transmission, German Bosch Fuel injection,
Italian Marelli ignition, and miscellaneous Japanese made semi
conductors and parts.

So what was that you were saying about Ford parts in Jaguars?

“A bird in the hand is worth,
well–a bird in the hand” :wink:

Wayne Estrada
Richmond, Virginia, USA
1989 XJ-S Convertible (Dorchester Grey)
1989 Vanden Plas Sedan (Alpine Green)

Please visit my Jaguar Cars Web Site at
http://www.U3Training.com/jaguar