Ford ready to toss luxury out the window

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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

SCOTT JAGOW: Carmaker Ford lost more than $12 billion last year, so obviously it needs to do something different. The word this morning is that Ford is ready to sell its luxury brands, Land Rover and Jaguar. Ford has hired some investment banks to look for a buyer, either private equity or another carmaker. Andrew Wright is an analyst with CSM Worldwide. Andrew, why this move?

ANDREW WRIGHT: I think that basically Ford is trying to raise money and to in a way return to basics, mainly concerning itself with the manufacture of volume.

JAGOW: Have Land Rover and Jaguar been performing badly?

WRIGHT: Jaguar is a persistent bad performer, for kind of reasons that don't have particularly to do with how much money and attention has been lavished on the company, but Land Rover is a company that, acquired more recently, was probably in better shape at the beginning. And just recently now that they've rounded out practically complete renewal of their model range is now profitable and seeing growth.

JAGOW: So in the end do you think is a pretty obvious, smart business decision for Ford?

WRIGHT: I'm not sure, you know, I suppose that the only kind of reservation I'd have is that not just in premium brands but in the SUV segment we're seeing growth currently. So it's obviously a business decision that Ford has taken to say 'right we're going to ignore the promise of profits from these companies to concentrate on the blue oval back at home.

JAGOW: Alright Andrew Wright of CSM Worldwide, thank you.

WRIGHT: Thank you.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

SCOTT JAGOW: Carmaker Ford lost more than $12 billion last year, so obviously it needs to do something different. The word this morning is that Ford is ready to sell its luxury brands, Land Rover and Jaguar. Ford has hired some investment banks to look for a buyer, either private equity or another carmaker. Andrew Wright is an analyst with CSM Worldwide. Andrew, why this move?

ANDREW WRIGHT: I think that basically Ford is trying to raise money and to in a way return to basics, mainly concerning itself with the manufacture of volume.

JAGOW: Have Land Rover and Jaguar been performing badly?

WRIGHT: Jaguar is a persistent bad performer, for kind of reasons that don't have particularly to do with how much money and attention has been lavished on the company, but Land Rover is a company that, acquired more recently, was probably in better shape at the beginning. And just recently now that they've rounded out practically complete renewal of their model range is now profitable and seeing growth.

JAGOW: So in the end do you think is a pretty obvious, smart business decision for Ford?

WRIGHT: I'm not sure, you know, I suppose that the only kind of reservation I'd have is that not just in premium brands but in the SUV segment we're seeing growth currently. So it's obviously a business decision that Ford has taken to say 'right we're going to ignore the promise of profits from these companies to concentrate on the blue oval back at home.

JAGOW: Alright Andrew Wright of CSM Worldwide, thank you.

WRIGHT: Thank you.

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