Jon Griffin, Business Editor, Birmingham Mail, 12th November, 2008
THE top man at Jaguar Land Rover says he is ‘personally insulted’ by the amount of ‘bland’ Japanese and German cars on UK roads.
In a no-holds-barred attack on rival products, JLR Chief Executive David Smith called into question the quality of the opposition. Mr Smith told West Midland business leaders at the Advantage West Midlands annual conference: ‘We do need to up our game as the competition gets tougher every year.’
‘If I needed confirmation of this, I got it when I looked at the cars on the street here this morning. I take it as a personal insult but also as a challenge that there are so many bland Japanese and German products outside. So we still have work to do and a great opportunity to win new business.’
I looked at the cars on the street here this morning. I take it as a personal insult but also as a challenge that there are so many bland Japanese and German products outside
Mr Smith predicted a ‘brilliant’ future for JLR despite the ‘horrendous’ economic conditions facing the automotive sector. ‘I have not lost one iota of belief in the brilliant future of Jaguar Land Rover or the West Midlands. We need to be realistic about the next 18 months. They will be very tough, and painful. No business, and certainly not one like ours, will be able to isolate itself from the world economic climate.
‘Industry desperately needed the interest rate cut we saw and which we have all been calling for. I hope – and expect – there are more to come. So times are very challenging but as far as I am concerned, Armageddon can wait.’
Mr Smith said Tata’s acquisition of JLR was ‘of huge significance’ to the two luxury brands.
[Source: Birmingham Mail]