Turnarounds & Nosedives


Robb Young | April 13, 2010

Automakers look beyond the precipice toward an uncertain future

With palpable signs that the iconic Hummer and Maybach brands might end up in the scrap yard, luxury auto analysts are preparing themselves for the worst. Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Co has admitted defeat after nine months of negotiations to acquire Hummer from General Motors. The Chinese firm failed to gain approval from state regulators, prompting GM to issue a statement that it will begin winding down the SUV.

Rumours of Maybach’s demise seem more credible too now that the Design VP at its parent company, Daimler, confirmed reports that he had not been asked by management to develop designs for the new Maybach model. Meanwhile, at Tata Motors, things are finally looking up three years after the Indian firm acquired Jaguar Land Rover from Ford. On the back of its first profitable quarter late last year, sales for Land Rover and Jaguar were up 62% and 55% respectively in February. The consensus at the latest Geneva International Motor Show was that luxury car makers face a make or break scenario based on this year’s sales.

The Times – 16 Mar 10
EVO – 17 Mar 10
Luxury Insider – 2 Mar 10