Just as Land Rover is approaching its 60th anniversary – a remarkable achievement in its own right – it has blasted through the 200,000 sales barrier, reaching 205,717 vehicles sold worldwide last month. That’s a 27 per cent increase on the same month last year for Land Rover, with the boost coming from burgeoning markets like Russia, China, France and Spain.
“This puts us on a firm footing as we approach our 60th anniversary,” said Land Rover’s managing director Phil Popham, adding “This is a significant milestone in Land Rover’s history.”
So what does Ford do?
Put the company on the sales block!
The battle to decide who wins the £1.5 billion race to buy Land Rover and Jaguar is heating up, with Tata, the Indian business empire which earlier this year bought steel giant Corus, taking an apparent lead against One Equity, the American private equity group, and Mahindra, the Indian car group that it linked with Apollo, another American buy-out firm. Each group is attracted to Land Rover’s products, which fill a void in their respective markets, and its distribution network, which stretches globally to more than 140 countries. Ford is bundling the sale with Jaguar, another iconic British marquee, in hopes of darkening their bright red bottom line with a little black ink moving into 2008.
Contrast that with Popham’s observation that “This sales achievement has been driven by exciting new products with improved environmental performance. Confidence is high – we’re firmly in the black with innovative new products that will continue Land Rover’s sustainable development.”
Although it appears inevitable that Ford will decide on its preferred bidder within weeks of the new year, Land Rover is continuing to demonstrate its commitment to reducing its impact on the environment when it reveals a concept vehicle featuring new technologies and lightweight materials, early in 2008.
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