Ford Motor Co. is consolidating the American operations of its three British brands -- Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover -- into a single
organization within the Premier Automotive Group (PAG).
The new organization underscores PAG's efforts to encourage larger, stronger dealerships
with separate showrooms, but common ownership. Ford officials hope that dealers who own several PAG brands will be able to compete more
vigorously with the prosperous dealers of their German and Japanese rivals.
The Premier Automotive Group is the Consumer Business Group within Ford Motor Company responsible for premium vehicles.
According to PAG officials, the new organization will focus on driving forward the aggressive growth plans for all three marques, enabling each company to better leverage their individual positions within the luxury vehicle market, and providing the resources to support a stronger franchise network.
The new organization will combine sales, marketing, communications, franchise development, distribution, parts and customer service. It is effective Sept. 1, 2001 and will be headquartered at the new Premier Automotive Group facility in Irvine, Calif.
All three companies move into the new Irvine facility from mid-August onwards and will be combining the relocation action with the creation of the new organization. Lincoln and
Volvo are scheduled to move into the Irvine facility during September.
Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, chairman of the Premier Automotive Group, said that strong growth in North America was key to the long-term success of the group's marques. "North America is the largest luxury vehicle market in the world and
we are very focused on ensuring we have the right business structure to help realize the full potential of the Premier Automotive Group," Dr. Reitzle said. "Combining our British marques in North America makes great sense for our retailers, customers and investors, while creating an environment where they can grow stronger as individual brands."
Mike O'Driscoll, currently president of Jaguar North America, has been appointed president of Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America with immediate effect. O'Driscoll will be responsible for all sales, marketing, franchise
development and customer service activities in North America across all three companies.
"This is a critical period of growth for all three marques in North America," O'Driscoll said. "With the integration of operations under this new organization, we will be better placed to accelerate our sales and distribution plans for all three marques, as well as take the best from each company to deliver a world-class service to our retailers and customers.
"With all three British marques operating together, we will start to achieve the critical mass required to compete head-to-head with other premium car and truck manufacturers," O'Driscoll said. "To be successful in the premium market, you need to be able to offer a broad range of vehicles. With Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover, we are able to offer that range without diluting the core values
of each individual marque."
All three companies will continue to operate selected functions out of their existing east coast offices in Lanham, Md., and Mahwah, N.J., through at least mid-2002. In mid-2002, Premier Automotive Group plans for Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover to establish a single consolidated east coast operations center in Mahwah, N.J.
The Land Rover University and Technical Training Center in Lanham, Md., will be retained at its current location. Further details of this consolidation will be communicated over the course of the next several months, according to company officials.
The executive director of the Premier Automotive Group, Vic Doolan, said Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover were a very natural fit. "They all share a similar culture and philosophy combined with a product range that is complementary and with virtually no overlap," Doolan said. "Historically, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover retailers have often been co-located on single sites. Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America will allow us to bring synergies where they make sense for our customers and retailers while retaining each marques' unique culture and identity. With the formation of the new
organization, we will be able to accelerate our aggressive growth strategies for all three marques."
Howard Mosher has elected to leave Land Rover in 2002, but will continue as president, Land Rover North America, within the new consolidated
organization until then. In addition to this role, he will assist the internal and external transition teams through the initial integration
"With the implementation of the Premier Automotive Group strategy in North America it is clear that a new organization structure
is required," Mosher said. "My role over the coming months will be to facilitate in whatever
positive fashion I can, the transition for Land Rover retailers and associates into the new Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover structure."
In addition to the consolidation of the British marques, a new group will be formed to provide shared services to all the European brands, including Volvo, and selected services to Lincoln Mercury. These functions include
Human Resources, Finance, Information Technology and Retail Transformation.
Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover also announced several new management positions as part of the establishment of the new organization. The following positions report to Mike O'Driscoll, president, Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover
- John Walton, vice president and general manager, Aston Martin
- Sue Callaway, vice president and general manager, Jaguar
- Steve McKnight, vice president and general manager, Land Rover
All of the following positions have responsibility for Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover, and will report to O'Driscoll:
- Fran O'Hagan, vice president franchise operations
- Doug Speck, vice president retail operations
- Simon Sproule, vice president communications and marketing services
- Gary Temple, vice president customer services