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Jaguar and Land Rover Angle For Production In China

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the ya-go-where-the-action-is dept.

China 141

First time accepted submitter ourlovecanlastforeve writes "Those of you still hanging on to Jaguar and Land Rover as the last vestiges of the truly British automobile in the States may find yourselves grasping at straws as Chery announces a nearly two billion dollar joint effort with the auto brand to move production to Changsu in China." Anyone still hanging on to that idea might also be interested to learn that Jaguar and Land Rover are subsidiaries of India's Tata, maker of the low-priced Nano.

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141 comments

Yay it's a lose-lose! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049629)

My opinion,this is how it breaks down:

Jaguar - the name means high maintainence! Or Land Rover, the name means shit fuel economy!

Really it'll be great.

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (4, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#40049677)

Have you ever driven an American car?
You get the high maintenance *and* the shit fuel economy - but not only that, you get poor braking and handling, lacklustre performance *and* poor ergonomics and aesthetics!
Now how's that for a package?

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049683)

Hey. My good friend! Joey, my friend!

I'm doing a survey. I want to know how you, a social recluse, feel about people expelling flatulence out of their own assholes. Your answer could determine whether or not your johnson is anything but an aloof wardrobe.

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (0)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#40050401)

Yeaahh.... That probably sounded a lot better inside your head, didn't it? Maybe it should have stayed there.

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049687)

Yes, I've driven American cars. Compared to Japanese and German cars, they suck. Compared to British cars, they're great.

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050185)

German cars? You mean like the BMW One Series that's oh so popular in the UK but were a common site completely failing to get up anything more than a horizontal plane when the tiniest bit of snow fell with their excuse being "Oh you need snow tyres" whilst the Jaguar and Land Rover drivers just drove on past them with their normal tyres chuckling to themselves?

Or perhaps they should've gone for lovely Japanese Toyotas, because it's not like Toyota has ever had any recalls or anything.

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#40050633)

German cars? You mean like the BMW One Series that's oh so popular in the UK but were a common site completely failing to get up anything more than a horizontal plane when the tiniest bit of snow fell with their excuse being "Oh you need snow tyres" whilst the Jaguar and Land Rover drivers just drove on past them with their normal tyres chuckling to themselves?

Or perhaps they should've gone for lovely Japanese Toyotas, because it's not like Toyota has ever had any recalls or anything.

I live in a posh neighbourhood, and a lot of people have BMWs. One chap bucks the trend by driving a tiny little Fiat Panda 4x4 [youtube.com]. last winter a lot of BMWs failed to make it up the hill out of our estate. This guy doesn't even clear his driveway, he just drives out. I felt really glad that he had his day!
,br> In winter rear wheel drive really sucks.

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049723)

Think about it. Just like American women. Just like American women.
As for me, I'll import thank you (without tariff please!).

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050665)

Top 10 Reasons My Land Rover Discovery Sucks

    http://www.angelfire.com/mn/landroversucks/

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40051291)

Completely baseless and massively general... Way to go.

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049795)

...this is how it breaks down...

I see what you did there.

Re:Yay it's a lose-lose! (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | about 2 years ago | (#40050239)

^^^^^^ needs mod points. Pretty much nothing changes except when you take the car to the dealer for service now there's rice in the engine.

Landrover is the British military vehicle (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 2 years ago | (#40050527)

Good luck going to war against China.

Re:Landrover is the British military vehicle (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#40050645)

Good luck going to war against China.

Somehow I don't think that if Britain went to war with China the inability to build landrovers would be the deciding factor.

In Africa (2)

arcite (661011) | about 2 years ago | (#40050765)

You wouldn't be caught dead in Landrover, well unless you're a poser. Now, get a fully loaded Toyota Land CRUISER, then we're talking.

epitome of globalization (5, Funny)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 2 years ago | (#40049633)

Owned by Indians, built by Chinese, bought by Americans and marketed as British.

This must be the epitome of globalization.

Re: epitome of globalization (2)

Barsteward (969998) | about 2 years ago | (#40049643)

"Designed by the British, Owned by Indians, built by Chinese, bought by Americans and marketed as British." would be the full advertising slogan.

China is still shit are car design if their version of MG/Rover is anything to go by. Luckily the western version of MG is still being designed in the UK

Re: epitome of globalization (4, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40049659)

They probably had to move manufacturing to China to maintain their lasting record for poor reliability.

Re: epitome of globalization (3, Funny)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#40049777)

Jaguar died as a brand in 1987, when Ford took them over. From there, they've largely rested on prior laurels. That said, most pre-1987 Jaguars were a cult. You could tell when one was really dead because it stopped leaking.

You can still get 50grand on eBay (++) for a 50's xk120/140. But the days of glory are largely gone, as they not only don't hold their value, but never achieved Ford's reliability goals, let alone Tata's.

The Mini Cooper is an example of a brand redone, but bettered, by BMW. Nominally made in Oxford (some elsewhere), it's an international effort that makes a stellar little ride, if deeply in a niche. Of course it helps to have a couple of popular movies featuring your car's ability to descend stairs and make wicked turns.

Re: epitome of globalization (5, Insightful)

Zubinix (572981) | about 2 years ago | (#40049903)

Jaguar are selling more cars now than ever before. In part due to Tata's good management. The brand has been reinvigorated rather than been killed off.

China is the world's largest car market having recently overtaken the US. So it makes sense to move some production facilities there.

Give credit where it's due and be thankful that a savvy operator like Tata gave new life to these otherwise dying car brands and stop your old world bias.

Re: epitome of globalization (4, Informative)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 2 years ago | (#40050033)

They haven't moved it. There are two factories in the UK and they are recruiting heavily right now.

Re: epitome of globalization (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050209)

I live around the corner from one of them. They've just spent god-only-knows how many millions re-tooling it for production of the new Evoque. I'd be very surprised if production of that went anywhere else for a while

Re: epitome of globalization (1)

Niedi (1335165) | about 2 years ago | (#40051837)

They'll just produce the cars for the asian market in china, which is nothing special. Or do you really think that e.g. a Volkswagen or a BMW sold in China is actually assembled in Germany?

Re: epitome of globalization (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050035)

"The Mini Cooper is an example of a brand redone, but bettered, by BMW."

Rubbish, The "Mini Cooper" as reimagined by BMW is a fat slug designed for Bavarians and the US market.

Compared with the Issigonis Mini, its an appaling 21st century lump, with the style and visual appeal of a road accident. Like the current "Fiat 500" its an insult to the vehicle it allegedly draws its inspiration from. Here's a thought for you. I followed a BMW "Mini" yesterday. Between it and me was an original, 44 year old Mini. If the BMW had stopped suddenly, its odds on that the Mini following it could have ended up INSIDE the BMW without any problems. Ok a bit farfetched for a BMW "Cooper", but someone DID fit a Mini bodyshell inside the most bloated BMW "Mini" of all, the Mini Countryman.

Mini comparison: BMW vs Morris [autoexpress.co.uk]

It really does make you weep.

Re: epitome of globalization (2)

petsounds (593538) | about 2 years ago | (#40050141)

The MINI Cooper was great while designer Frank Stephenson was at the helm, but once he was lured away to Ferrari the Germans had no idea what to do with the model. They replaced its spunky engine with a boring, flat torque curve Bavarian engine, and made a mess of Stephenson's elegant lines. BMW may have helped revive the brand, but they proceeded to ruin everything good about it.

Re: epitome of globalization (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 2 years ago | (#40050149)

It only died in the sense they produced something called the X-Type which was a ford mondeo with a Jag badge and skin.

but under Ford, their build quality and reliability improved so much that Jag/Land Rover now produce cars of quality build and reliability.

Re: epitome of globalization (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 years ago | (#40050355)

The Mini Cooper is an example of a brand redone, but bettered, by BMW.

Yes, but....

My girlfriend has a late model Mini Cooper S. It still has some weird spots. For example, if someone pulls too hard on the door handle, rather than pulling it twice to unlock then open, it will fuck up the latch assembly. That's not the part at the handle, it's actually at the back of the door. I've had to fix hers twice, when passengers didn't know to pull twice, and broke it.

The oil filter is non-standard. It's available at parts stores, it's just odd. It's in a horrible position to reach too. Not that it's the worst I've seen. Asian import cars are notoriously worse. At least changing the filter doesn't dump dirt oil on the exhaust.

A friend has one also She discovered the "death rattle". There's a flaw in the design, somewhere around the timing belt. It'll start to rattle a little, and within a few miles it will fail. The dealer fix for it is to replace the whole engine, due to the damage it does. That's fine if it's under warranty. If it's not, it's a very expensive repair.

Otherwise, they're cute. They don't move as fast as a performance car, even with the supercharger. The worst problem is, they seem to be invisible. You will get cut off, and people will change lanes into you because they simply don't see you. That's not a design defect, it's just a small car that people assume doesn't move very quickly. My cars look like they're fast, so the opposite is true. People get out of the way, or avoid getting in front of me, even if I have the cruise control set to the speed limit. :)

    On the topic though. Jaguars have a wonderful reputation for being expensive decorations at the mechanic. Don't expect to drive one daily, as it'll spend more than half its life at the shop. From what I understand, it got a little better under Ford, but it will be an awful lot worse when they're 100% Chinese engineering.

Re: epitome of globalization (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 2 years ago | (#40050541)

Since Ford sold them, they have completely redesigned their entire lineup. The truly bad car - the Ford Mondeo-based X series - is completely gone. They have a brand new mid-range sedan - the XF - which is selling well worldwide, competes head-on with the BMW 5-series, but is $10K less expensive. A lightly modified XF went over 225 MPH at Bonneville, and their cars are being raced in the LeMans series. A totally new sports car is being introduced this summer.

Yes, this was all done with Tata's credit card - but they've hardly been resting on their laurels.

Re: epitome of globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050767)

Since Ford sold them, they have completely redesigned their entire lineup. The truly bad car - the Ford Mondeo-based X series - is completely gone. They have a brand new mid-range sedan - the XF - which is selling well worldwide, competes head-on with the BMW 5-series, but is $10K less expensive. A lightly modified XF went over 225 MPH at Bonneville, and their cars are being raced in the LeMans series. A totally new sports car is being introduced this summer.

Yes, this was all done with Tata's credit card - but they've hardly been resting on their laurels.

Not completely redesigned. The new XF is still based on the Ford Thunderbird / Lincoln LS platform.

Re: epitome of globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050671)

I work on cars atm, and a mini cooper came to the shop and I had to pull it in. I'm a pretty big guy and I was worried how the hell I'd fit in it. I was surprised to find out there is a damn surprising amount of room in those little vehicles. I didn't even need to move the seat, and the driver was a half a foot shorter than I am.

Re: epitome of globalization (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40049951)

China will give you the build quality you ask for. People go to China to build cheaply, so "cheap" is the most important parameter. Then they get all confused when "cheap" (cost) ends up being "cheap" (quality).

The iPhone had more trouble with poor design (antenna issues) than any build issues. "Cheap" wasn't the primary concern for Apple. Flexibility and capability were higher. I've not seen anything on the Apple Foxconn products that indicate quality issues.

I've never figured out why the public buys the "china is poor quality" when the products are designed, sourced, sold and supported by Wal-Mart (or whoever) and they suck, so Wal-Mart just says "china" and everyone seems satisfied.

Re: epitome of globalization (4, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#40050249)

China will give you the build quality you ask for. People go to China to build cheaply, so "cheap" is the most important parameter. Then they get all confused when "cheap" (cost) ends up being "cheap" (quality).

Very true, and this is not just for tech gadgets. Pretty much the entire astronomy industry is currently manufactured in China. Hell I've read Celestron is owned by a Chinese company. Celestron, Meade, Orion pretty much have all their equipment made in China, and to call any of their equipment unreliable or poor could not be further from the truth.

The problem with working with the Chinese is battling through the bullshit. One of our engineers tried to buy a valve from China one day. When he asked about certification documents, the company replied with something along the lines of, "What certification would you like us to fake for you?" in only slightly less obvious words. I had a similar experience with water filters. I've never seen a TUV certificate use numbers like 100% on anything, yet the certificate applied with this "TUV certified" filter was covered with 100% numbers. Yes it was cheap.

You get what you pay for. This applies to consumers and to businesses looking for a manufacturing plant, and China can supply both.

Re: epitome of globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050521)

China will give you the build quality you ask for. People go to China to build cheaply, so "cheap" is the most important parameter. Then they get all confused when "cheap" (cost) ends up being "cheap" (quality).

The iPhone had more trouble with poor design (antenna issues) than any build issues. "Cheap" wasn't the primary concern for Apple. Flexibility and capability were higher. I've not seen anything on the Apple Foxconn products that indicate quality issues.

I've never figured out why the public buys the "china is poor quality" when the products are designed, sourced, sold and supported by Wal-Mart (or whoever) and they suck, so Wal-Mart just says "china" and everyone seems satisfied.

The most important factor is that China is the fastest growing car market in the world, so guess where it might actually be worth increasing car production capacity.

Re: epitome of globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40051233)

GM couldnt bid - they couldnt meet the minium quality control standards

Re: epitome of globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050095)

This has been marked as a 5 & Funny but it is the truth.

Over the last year or two, there has been a marked increase of products sold in the UK being rebranded and/or advertised using the Union Jack. I'm not sure if this is due to the Olympics or with the rise of public support for Scottish independence, here north of the border. When you look at most of these items a lot of them aren't manufactured in the UK and the companies are not British. This is highlighted in this article where 91% of the souvenirs for the London Olympics are made in China:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2096215/Olympic-sell-91-London-2012-souvenirs-abroad-thirds-coming-China.html

Britishness has become nothing more than a commercial brand.

Re: epitome of globalization (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#40050721)

For your own sake and ours please don't ever cite The Mail, especially if you're talking about "Britishness".

Re: epitome of globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050781)

The Mail is mostly rubbish but they do occasionally report the facts correctly. A quick google verifies the facts reported by the Mail in this instance of most London 2012 souvenirs are made in China.

Re: epitome of globalization (4, Informative)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 2 years ago | (#40050143)

They are only moving assembly to China for the Chinease market. Shipping made cars two per container from the UK is not feasible. Everyone in Europe, America, Africa etc will still get the British made cars.

TFA is fud. The factory near where I live in Birmingham is recruiting like crazy. Soon to open a new engine plant in Wolverhampton too.

Parts for cars come from all over the world now anyway. Assembly doesn't employ many people compared to R&D, sourcing, etc.

Re: epitome of globalization (2)

Cederic (9623) | about 2 years ago | (#40050319)

JLR are moving head office to Coventry too (from Rugby, so not a major move).

Tata is Indian, but JLR is a wholly owned subsidiary, and run as a standalone company.

But for how long? (1)

vik (17857) | about 2 years ago | (#40049639)

Give 'em a few years and they'll be out of China, looking for cheaper labour in Africa or somesuch.

Re:But for how long? (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 2 years ago | (#40050135)

They are only moving assembly to China for the Chinease market. Shipping made cars from the UK, two per container is not feasible.

Everyone in Europe, America, Africa etc will still get the British made cars.

won't matter (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about 2 years ago | (#40049647)

As long as they stick some imitation wood-grain on the dash the snobs will still buy them1

States? (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | about 2 years ago | (#40049651)

What does "last vestiges of the truly British automobile in the States" mean? Does it mean something different than "last vestiges of the truly British automobile in the world." Or does this stupid sentence mean something else stupid?

Re:States? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049761)

Last I checked, "United States" != "world". So the sentence probably means exactly what it says.

Re:States? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40050187)

Or does this stupid sentence mean something else stupid?

It's not the sentence that's stupid, just the ignorant reader that's stupid. TVR is still a "British company" (though owned by a Russian). But TVR doesn't sell in the US. The US has restrictive rules designed to be barriers to entry, so the US doesn't get many low-run models, and there are still some specialty UK makers that are available in the UK, or abroad in locations more open to specialty cars.

So this, being explicitly a US site, is discussing the US effects of this, not the UK (or world) effects. When the summaries explicitly state US-only, people complain, when they don't remind everyone this is a US site, then people complain. Either way, people complain. But only the morons.

Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (2)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 2 years ago | (#40049657)

I've certainly heard of people who seek cars made in a certain country, but does anyone actually value this more than whether their car is a piece of shit?

In any event, reducing the auto industry in certain countries may help to discourage auto-friendly subsidies and allow competing industries to emerge.

I, for one, am ready for my self-driving vehicle (and I don't care where it's made).

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (2)

outsider007 (115534) | about 2 years ago | (#40049679)

Would it kill you to buy American?

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (4, Funny)

JustNiz (692889) | about 2 years ago | (#40049689)

LOL probably literally. American cars are shit.

Citation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050707)

I would be interested in a neutral, credible, source to support your trolls.

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 years ago | (#40049715)

I bought my car based partly on its country of origin. More accurately, one of the contenders was eliminated because it's made in Mexico and I didn't feel the company had been building cars there long enough to have a proven track record. If they'd been building the car in their home country, it would have stayed on the list longer and may have been my final choice.

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#40049789)

I've certainly heard of people who seek cars made in a certain country, but does anyone actually value this more than whether their car is a piece of shit?

I have family overseas (not Europe) and they definitely care whether the car was manufactured and assembled in the USA/Mexico/Europe or mfg/assembled somewhere in Asia or Africa.

This was the first wikipedia plage I came across that listed the various plants an auto manufacturer had:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz#Factories [wikipedia.org]

But everyone has plants in Africa and South America that manufacture parts and/or assemble complete cars.
The quality control for parts isn't as good and the QC for assembly isn't as good.
People care and they pay more for cars that aren't built/assembled on their continent.

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049819)

It's interesting that you picked Mercedes. In the last Consumer Reports, in terms of over all brand quality, they placed Mercedes below Ford!

The other German cars makers are pretty much in the middle of the pack and after all their troubles, the Japanese still take just about all the tops spots - and Toyota is still there.

Buy smart; buy Japanese.

And as far as parts are concerned, there's only a handful of big parts suppliers in the World: Bosch, VDO, Walbro, and a couple of others that I can't remember their names. It may seem that they're are more, but they are more than likely owned by the big guys.

And ALL of them are under HUGE pressure to reduce costs (i.e make things cheaper - more plastic).

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (3, Insightful)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | about 2 years ago | (#40050189)

In a sort of way, I did buy my car based on the nationality of its brand.

I like Italian cars a lot, from the high-end ridiculous supercars and in particular all the way down to their basic, characterful people's cars, like the original Fiat 500. But we have owned a number of Fiats in my family and I know all to well about the reliability and rust problems that have always plagued them.

So when I saw they had started building cars in Poland, I took notice. Contrary to popular belief, Poland is a proud, hard-working, honest and straight-forward nation with a history of solid (if unsophisticated) engineering. It was only during WW2 and the Cold War that Poland took a serious nosedive, but they've certainly been doing everything they can to get themselves out of the shadow of combined Nazi+Soviet oppression.

I have been driving my Polish-built Fiat for nearly 5 years now and I have not had a single problem with it. Mechanically, electrically etc. it has been completely flawless.

So yes, I bought my Italian car because it was built in Poland.

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (3, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#40050311)

I've certainly heard of people who seek cars made in a certain country, but does anyone actually value this more than whether their car is a piece of shit?

I've owned two American cars in my life. A 1988 Pontiac Firefly, which was basic transportation, and very good on gas. I was driving it in high school, and for my limited means at the time, it made sense. It's also a car that can't be made any more, because it would never pass modern safety standards. Those same safety standards would add a significant amount of weight to the car, and it would never get the mileage that it used to, even if they were to remake it.

The second American car I owned was a 2007 Chev Aveo. That was complete unadulterated shit. It was a terrible ride, it was not as good on gas as they advertised, it was uncomfortable, it handled like you were driving through a lake, in all, it was a terrible car. For the time that I owned it, it was in for several major repairs, including one where I was without car for 2 weeks... the dealer fixed me up with a Pontiac Grand Prix as a loaner for that 2 week period. That car had a better interior, but it was still low quality/plasticky, it still handled like you were driving through a lake, and it was even worse on gas.

Contrast that with the numerous Japanese cars I have owned... I have never had a major repair on any of the Subarus I have owned, despite having more than a million km's between them. My 2011 Impreza is immensely better in ride quality and handling than any American car I've ever driven, and it actually gets the gas mileage that they advertised for the Aveo, even though it's got all-wheel drive and I'm not even trying to drive it efficiently. And it's not just Subaru that I can say that about... in my family, we have owned Honda and Toyota cars that we can say the same about.

While there are certainly European brands that I would buy if I could get them here, I would never consider buying an American car until the Americans figure out how to make a car that goes around corners. In the mean time, I have never had a bad experience with a Japanese car, and would definitely recommend them to anybody looking for a car. It's not that individual American cars which are good don't exist, it's that most of the "good" American cars are actually European or Japanese designed/built and just rebadged.

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40051053)

Comparing a cheap Chevy aveo to higher-priced Subarus? Nice

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#40051219)

Actually, I compared a $21,000 Subaru to a $40,000 Pontiac Grand Prix as well... Good reading skills, though. :)

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#40051069)

FWIW Toyota and Honda have cars that are 80% made in USA by content (including the parts). At one point they might even have been the most American cars ;).

http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&subject=ami&story=amMade0611 [cars.com]
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/american-cars/story?id=13801165 [go.com]

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#40051361)

So does Subaru... my parents' Legacy was built in Indiana. :)

Still a Japanese design, with Japanese specs, though, so the point stands... though interestingly (and perhaps it proves the point), the Legacy is a 2004, back from when GM had its talons in Subaru, and their car has the worst automatic transmission I have ever driven... downshift lag is at least 4-5 seconds when you try accelerating, and it seems that whoever designed the thresholds for upshifting was drunk, as they're not consistent at all. I don't like automatic transmissions in general, but on the rare occasion I've been forced to use one, I have driven much better than theirs. It's still never had any major repairs, though, even though the odometer is pushing 460,000 kms.

Re:Who buys automobiles based on nationality? (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | about 2 years ago | (#40051237)

It is funny that both of your American cars were not American at all. The Pontiac Firefly was originally a Suzuki (cultus or something). Chevy Aveo is a Daewoo Kalos.
The Aveo was never meant to be a US Spec car, it worked OK in Asia where it is used over smaller distances and the weather is OK. Nevertheless, it was one of the cars that put Daewoo out of business.

Relevant Topic, I'm sure (2)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 2 years ago | (#40049661)

For some reason, it still blows my mind that it can be cheaper to manufacture a vehicle and then transport it halfway across the world than it could be to manufacture the vehicle locally.

Re:Relevant Topic, I'm sure (3, Informative)

srussia (884021) | about 2 years ago | (#40049697)

For some reason, it still blows my mind that it can be cheaper to manufacture a vehicle and then transport it halfway across the world than it could be to manufacture the vehicle locally.

I believe the China factory will be producing for the Chinese market. The Solihull factory is still making LRs.

Re:Relevant Topic, I'm sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049739)

Land Rovers are still built in Solihull, Jaguars are designed in Coventry and built in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, England. I'm off on a factory tour in a month's time.

Re:Relevant Topic, I'm sure (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 2 years ago | (#40050093)

Land Rovers are built all around the world already. Defender series is built in Turkey for Turkish Army since early 90s.

Re:Relevant Topic, I'm sure (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 2 years ago | (#40050627)

Not forgetting the Evoke made in Halewood near Liverpool. New engine plant will be in Wolverhampton.

R&D in China. The engine technology from Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroën would not be allowed to be manufactured or assembled in China so they are having to design new engines. Similar to Focus in America are manufactured in Mexico. PSA Peugeot Citroën and others such as Mazda do not allow their technologies to be built in Mexico. The Focus in America stayed on the Mk1 platform and engines for 12 years while Europe released new versions based on totally new platforms and refined engines. Only until mk3 Focus did the USA catchup.

Re:Relevant Topic, I'm sure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049713)

If you don't have to worry about things like minimum wages, social security, worker health and safety, and environmental protection, you can make things very cheaply.

Re:Relevant Topic, I'm sure (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40049949)

That's really the foundation of China's booming manufacturing industry. As national business models go, it works very well. It does mean exploitation and pollution, but some people in the Chinese government must have decided that the economic benefits are worth it. They were probably right - without the forign investment in industry and the economic strength from exports, they might still be just another third-world country getting by on rice-farming and memories of the glory days when they could claim to be the greatest civilisation in the world.

Re:Relevant Topic, I'm sure (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40050109)

It's an industrial revolution - it was no different in UK during ours. It's just easier to document in the 21st century. China is gradually creating a middle class, and will work itself out of the current boom. Regulations will come in, wages will increase, pollution will become more of an issue.

Re:Relevant Topic, I'm sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049767)

But it works. If you fuck with human rights and the environment, that is.

Transportation is cheap, labour is expensive (2)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 2 years ago | (#40049801)

For some reason, it still blows my mind that it can be cheaper to manufacture a vehicle and then transport it halfway across the world than it could be to manufacture the vehicle locally.

I'd tend to agree with you, but then we would overestimate the real-world cost of transportation. If transport halfway across the globe is feasible for oil, bananas & cheap plastic toys, why would it not be feasible for high-tech products like electronics, cars etc?

Labor cost is what counts. Relative to that, transport is cheap.

Re:Relevant Topic, I'm sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049875)

China is only 1/3 of the way around the world from the US.

To go half way, you had to do what GM did with importing the Pontiac G8s from Australia.

Far-East manufacture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049929)

makes sense to service markets in China, Japan and India (etc), where particular models are in high demand.

Landrovers in the sense of the Defender line have been manufactured under licence worldwide for some time now.

Although owned by Tata, Jaguar Landrover is still headquartered in the UK and design and manufacture is UK based too, with plants in the West Midlands (Solihull, West Bromwich) and on Merseyside (Halewood). Halewood currently produces Jaguar cars (don't know which particular models!), the LandRover Freelander and the RangeRover Evoque.

SO

As someone above proposed an advertising strapline, here's a fairer summary.

Jaguar Landrover. Owned by Indians, Designed in Britain, Built in Britain, Marketed as British, Sold to anyone who wants one. Worldwide.

Sensationalism (5, Insightful)

motd2k (1675286) | about 2 years ago | (#40049711)

The linked blog article reports roughly 20% of the full story. In actual fact, the UK factories are maxed out and employing more and more people, and only production destined for the Chinese market is being moved to China as part of this joint venture.

Re:Sensationalism (1)

advocate_one (662832) | about 2 years ago | (#40049927)

just give it a couple of years... they'll be blackmailing the UK government for subsidies & tax breaks when the Chinese plant is on stream

Incestuous relationships (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#40049749)

http://www.toomanycars.info/CarRelationship/Auto%20Family%20Tree%202008-Layout2.png [toomanycars.info]

^This graphic is many years out of date, but it'll give you an idea of the complicated relationships that car manufacturers have.
When it comes down to it, the car companies that aren't partially owned by one another are all cross licensing technology and sharing engines or chassises with one another.

Ugh! (4, Interesting)

Quillem (2641391) | about 2 years ago | (#40049849)

Tata Motors [wikipedia.org] is a subsidiary of the Tata group [wikipedia.org]. The latter is worth at least USD100B which makes it larger than BMW. The former and its subsidiaries also make everything from lorries, buses, and heavy lifting equipment to a number of other road cars besides the Nano. The Nano is in many ways considered a relative failure in India and it's their other cars which are more popular.

While export might be a possibility, the article clearly mentions that the Chinese domestic market alone demands 40000 imported JLR models which will very likely increase dramatically when they are produced locally and sold with cheaper price tags. A little googling would have also revealed [liverpooldailypost.co.uk] that China is fast becoming the company's largest market and that JLR is expanding its factories in England and hiring more people.

If anybody needed an example of FUD, the OP would be an apt candidate.

Tata is the H-1B company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050739)

Tata Motors [wikipedia.org] is a subsidiary of the Tata group [wikipedia.org]. The latter is worth at least USD100B which makes it larger than BMW.

Oh come on now. Tata is mainly a staffing company. Tata specializes in replacing US, and European IT workers with cheaper Indian workers.

The car companies are a side-line, at best.

Re:Ugh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050941)

Tata also made the trucks the drivers on ice road truckers dangerous roads drove.. They worked fine other than the cabs were made completely out of wood lol

Last vestige of British autos in the US? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 2 years ago | (#40049925)

Given that Jaguar and Land Rover are no more British than Ford is American - they're all global brands, these days, and even figuring out who owns what is a pain.

However, you can still get a British car in the States; there are a couple of importers selling Morgans here.

(I have no idea if you'd WANT a Morgan, but I admit they're neat lookin'.)

Re:Last vestige of British autos in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050041)

Or you may enjoy driving an Ariel Atom V8.

http://www.arielmotor.co.uk/

British motoring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40049953)

This might become one example where the Chinese made product is more reliable than original.

Congradulations Brittan (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#40050049)

Welcome to the 21st century. Annoy China and you'll all be riding horses. It's ironic enough that your national car companies are owned by a former colony. How far the empire has fallen.

Sigh-another generations-old stereotype to destroy (4, Informative)

mccalli (323026) | about 2 years ago | (#40050085)

Sad to see many posters trotting out old reliability myths.

Jaguar have topped JD Power Satisfaction rankings, and many other rankings, on and off for years now. The unreliable ones you're talking about were made in the 70s and 80s by, effectively, British Leyland.

Things looked up in the early 90s when Ford took over. They started bringing modernised toolsets to the construction process, and as a result reliability started climbing. It has continued climbing until it is now well ahead of <a href="http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=mercedes%20reliability&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8">Mercedes</a>, for example, which is trotted out often as some form of reliability paragon.

It takes a long time to change reputation, that's the problem. That reputation didn't match reality as of about 1995 onwards (possibly slightly earlier) with the dumping of the XJ40 and the move to the X300 design (still marketed as XJ6/XJ8), but people still trot out what they once heard in a bar or from their dad. It's annoying - drop it. Jaguars are as reliable, if not more so, as anything else in their class.

Personally I've owned XJ40 and X300-type XJ6 cars (one a Sovereign, one an XJR). I've owned an X-Type and an S-Type, and am currently contemplating an older XF. During the same time period a friend of mine has owned BMWs and Audis - we've spent about the same on garage bills (an RS8 being a notable exception - bills dwarfed anything I'd seen on the Jags). The X and the S were fine, the XJ40 electrically temperamental, the X300 (XJR) was just superb.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Sigh-another generations-old stereotype to dest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050747)

I have a '93 XJS convertible. It has been utterly reliable- in the time that I have owned it, it has never spent a day in the shop. There are a couple of problems- the cigarette lighter doesn't work, and it may never have worked- it and the ashtrays are spotless, and have been since Day One. And as to the Air Conditioning: the British concept of Air Conditioning has always been so... quaint.
    Gas mileage- not so hot. 14mpg around my quite hilly town. Double that on the Freeway.
    Ford did an excellent job with fixing Jaguar. It's a shame that they failed so badly with their own cars back then.

    My first car was a beat up 1965 Rover 2000SC. It and a Redwood tree had a very bad argument one day- I walked away unscratched. My next car was a beat up 1966 Mustang fastback, with the 271 HP V8, the one with the solid valve lifters. It was a real pig of a car. It couldn't steer straight, brake straight, or accelerate straight. And anything involving going around corners... well, what could one expect for $375?
    My most reliable car? A Mercedes 300SD. I never had a problem- until a Elm tree fell on it. (Northern California- trees happen.) My most unreliable car? A Mercedes 300D, which in the course of two months, went through two fanbelts, a water pump, an alternator, a starter, a battery, a glow plug, a glow plug relay... and the cigarette lighter and Air Conditioning didn't work.

    Maybe I've just been lucky with my XJS.

poor understanding of the current situation (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050169)

JLR is actually doing rather well at the moment. The vehicles are UK designed, and JLR is taking on large numbers of staff in the UK to do more design work. I know several ex-colleagues who went to work there.
It is because of the growing Chinese market, that some assembly of vehicles will be added in China, not due to the costs in the UK.
Now that British/American style management has been removed from JLR, there is much better long term planning, and much stronger investment in the product line.
If I was working for JLR, I'd much happily work under Indian management, rather than the mediocre bean-counting 'business degree' incompetents, who ran all of the indigineous British car industry into the ground.
Of course, matters are even worse in the United States. The US car companies still have this type of management, and are completely bankrupt hulks, with terrible product lines. I am shocked, on every visit to the United States, just how bad their vehicles are.

Re:poor understanding of the current situation (3, Insightful)

Cederic (9623) | about 2 years ago | (#40050345)

Indeed. The British are great at designing cars, when allowed to do it properly are great at building cars, and no matter how much help you give them are utterly shit at running car companies.

Re:poor understanding of the current situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050641)

I think Chris Bangle does a great job of designing cars for BMW :)

Brands are meaningless. (2, Interesting)

Fished (574624) | about 2 years ago | (#40050213)

I was shopping for a car last night, and while reading stickers was struck that the Honda Pilot actually has more domestic parts than the Dodge Durango, and not by a little bit. I knew that this was at least potentially true, but was really struck when I saw it on the label.

I don't really care who owns the company, because they're just fat cats (and can starve for all I care.) I care who actually gets the middle class jobs involved in auto manufacturing.

Re:Brands are meaningless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40050965)

This holds true for Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia as well. In fact the Nissan plant in symra, TN is retooling for some new models of Nissan and Infiniti while production of the xterra and others is moving to the plant in Mississippi or Louisiana (I forget exactly where)

Most domestics are a Canadian or Mexican produced product (I know my friends 2001 vw golf was brazil iirc.. It was that or Mexico). It seems anymore the asain brands are more domestic to us than any others

Glad a lot of people realise the misleading ttitle (1)

Necroloth (1512791) | about 2 years ago | (#40050499)

As many have pointed out, they aren't moving production, they're simply creating NEW production sites in China. The cost of importing is crazy high and so due to Chinese Law, have to forma JV to reduce the tax cost. Most of the German brands already do this so it's not unheard of or new. Pretty much all of these built vehicles will remain in China rather than exported.

In actual fact, the really rich Chinese would probably still import the vehicles because there is a brand image and greater snobbishness for European built as opposed to China-built.

As for JLR as a company.. they've been doing really well and Jaguar have revitalised the brand with complete new lineup that isn't a throwback to the 70s but much more modern and sleek. I can't wait for the F-Type to come out!

Re:Glad a lot of people realise the misleading tti (1)

nickmalthus (972450) | about 2 years ago | (#40051071)

Funny how the Chinese use tariffs to protect their industries and their economy is booming while our leadership bleats "unfettered trade, no taxes!" and our economy is declining and our government going bankrupt. Surely the communist Chinese are adhereing to the lenin axiom "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." Our pie-eyed leadership is so focused on short term greed that they cannot see the long term threat.

Unions (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 2 years ago | (#40050741)

I'm sure that the unions will love this move. Remember when Boeing first tried to create a "new production site" in South Carolina. [/sarcasm]

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40051767)

Unions won't give a shit. They are building plants in China for the Chinese market. It costs way too much to ship cars by container. Heck, even BMW makes cars in the US for the US market.

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