The revitalization of Britain’s two most storied automakers by Indian-owned Tata Motors can not begin soon enough. Following news last month that the companies had lost a combined $501.5 million, it is not surprising that now they have announced that 300 jobs and production of the X-Type will be cut. Can the LRX stop the bleeding?
The jobs will be shed from the Halewood plant in England, which employs 2,000 and makes the Land Rover Freelander. Despite the bad news, Jaguar pressed onward with the launch of the new XJ model last week in London and like all important unveiling ceremonies, the event was attended by David Hasselhoff. The list of who will be able to afford 2010 XJ when it arrives in showrooms, however, may not include “the Hoff,” as the price will start around $80,000 and extend upwards to more than $110,000.
There is reason to be optimistic though, for all of Ford’s mismanagment of the luxury brands, they did pour billions of dollars into bringing the English brands out of their archaic manufacturing practices, and as a result, J.D. Power and Associates three-year Vehicle Dependability Study has Jaguar at the very top tied with Buick for the No. 1 spot.
Land Rover, sadly, still sits at the very bottom of that same study. The LRX concept has been awarded substantial Government assistance for its development as a green SUV alternative.