Posted by: John Elliott | December 17, 2007

Tata hits image problems in the U.S.

After a string of successes, India’s industrial giant, Tata, has hit a rough patch in the United States. Advances made by Indian Hotels, which runs the Taj brand, to Orient-Express (OEH), the U.S. owner of luxury hotels, trains and cruises, have been firmly rebuffed. And American dealers selling Jaguar cars have objected to Ford selling the British luxury brand to Tata Motors (TTM).

The setbacks are a blow to Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons, the group holding company, and one of the world’s 25 most powerful people in business. Early this year, he scored his biggest triumph when Tata Steel bought Corus, the British steel company, for $12.1 billion, defeating a strong rival bidder, CSN of Brazil, in a dramatic knock-out contest. Now Tata is bidding along with Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), another leading Indian autos-based company, to buy the Jaguar and Land-Rover brands from Ford (F).

Some analysts question whether Tata Motors can handle Jaguar and Land-Rover, especially their difficult trade unions. Critics also point out that Tata is more focused on smaller cheaper cars – including a low-end model now in development that it plans to sell for around $3,000. That feeds U.S. dealers’ worries that Jaguar would lose its upscale image if it were Indian-owned – whether it’s bought by Tata or M&M. 

Ken Gorin, chairman of the Jaguar Business Operations Council, which represents Jaguar car dealers in the U.S., has said that Ford should sell the two brands to another bidder, One Equity Partners, a private equity arm of J.P.Morgan Chase (JPM). He’s reportedly concerned that the American public won’t accept a luxury-car brand such as Jaguar “out of India.”

Gorin, of course, doesn’t get to decide who buys the brands, and the deal is still open – with Tata being tipped to win in some reports. But he has a point: Indian manufacturing is only starting to gain acceptance internationally. Foreign car companies are increasingly looking to India for supplies of components and even complete cars – Suzuki Motor announced last week that a factory near Delhi will supply its planned A-Star car to Europe and elsewhere. But A-Star is not a luxury model.

Perceptions about the low quality of Indian products are also behind Orient-Express’s rebuttal of Tata’s moves for a closer relationship. Indian Hotels increased its stake in Orient-Express to 11.5 percent recently, prompting Paul White, the CEO of Orient-Express, to say a combination was not in his company’s interests. “Any association of our luxury brands and properties with your brands and properties would result in a reduction in the value of our brands,” he told Indian Hotels, which is expected to respond to the rebuff shortly.

White’s remarks shocked officials at Tata’s Taj hotels, who deem their hotels to be one of Asia’s, and maybe the world’s, best. Taj hotel guests, however, do not always rate them so high: There are frequent complaints about the quality of service and inferior finishes. The group’s award-winning Taj hotel on the waterfront in Mumbai is one of Asia’s most splendid buildings, but service there does not always match the elegance.

 So it is perhaps not surprising that White has serious reservations. What is more curious is that Tata has pursued the company despite the cool reception. Ratan Tata recently said in a television interview that he does not like hostile takeovers.  “We walk in the face of opposition on an acquisition bid,” he said. What’s more, he denied that Indian Hotels is seeking to acquire the Orient-Express. Tata approached Orient-Express management “basically to seek an alliance and were misunderstood,” he said.

Meanwhile, Indian jingoism is on the rise in the media and among the country’s politicians. “Racism can’t halt Indian takeovers,” declared the Economic Times, a leading business daily, slamming “quasi-racist slurs.” Kamal Nath, India’s outspoken commerce minister, said “there cannot be any discrimination against outward investment from India.”

The bluster is unfortunate. A more effective tack for Indian officials would be to accept that their country is just beginning to lose its decades-long reputation for dreadful quality — and to vow to show the world that it can do even better.


Responses

  1. I posted a comment earlier, look for “Posted By Srinivas, Washington DC : December 27, 2007 1:16 pm” to see my post .

    We got updates –

    “I was wrong,” Gorin now admits, speaking by phone on Friday, June 27, from Jaguar’s design center in Whitley, England. “Any concern I may have had has been completely dispelled. I couldn’t be more impressed. Ratan Tata is very humble and self-effacing. But he’s also a fully engaged entrepreneur, and Jaguar hasn’t been run by an entrepreneur since the beginning of time.” ( source – http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080630/FREE/222186385/1530/FREE )

    Vindication of my earlier stand –

    “I found the author lacking in knowledge and experience in evaluating Indian businesses and producing meaningful and/or useful India related content.”

  2. AMERICAN WRITING IS DETERIORATING JUST AS IT’S ECONOMY. I GUESS IT’S TIME FOR US TO OUTSOURCE IT TO INDIA. THEY DO A FAR BETTER JOB IN THE I.T SECTOR, THEY’LL DO THIS MUCH BETTER THAN US.

    I’VE BEEN TO INDIA MANY MANY TIMES ON BUSINESS TRIPS, AND I HAVE TO ACCEPT THE HARD TRUTH THAT MODERN INDIA IS WAY BETTER THAN AMERICA.

    IN THE DISTANT FUTURE WE WILL BE POLISHING THE SHOES OF OUR INDIAN AND CHINESE MASTERS.

  3. It makes me laugh seeing the “arrogance” and “ignorance” of guys here. Do you know “in your good old US or UK ” most of the highly skilled jobs ( Docs/engineers/IT etc ) are done by Indians and they have outdone every one ? If you haven’t seen that …then take some time to look around….. Tata is a brand that’s serves poorer of the poor and the richest of the rich and this is where their “strengths” is.

    In my mind there is no reason why Tata will not pull off producing world class cars and yes the know how it gets from technology/techniques from LR and Jag it will incorporate in its other cars raising their profile and making them a success too…Its called working “smart” …. so stop “wining” and learn. We Indians here to stay and make huge contributions to the world around us.

    Seeing this blog one can see that Tata has already succeeded in generating attention….If without spending a penny on advertising they can generate so much attention /curiosity …. imagine what will happen if they did ( in the long run publicity good/bad is always good ) …Tata has already saved millions of $$ which it can invest in quality of its products including safari/jags and the likes…. may be it was a game plan to bigger things…. food for thought guys ( applicable to only those who have the intellect to think… that would eliminate most yanks n poms )

  4. In today’s world, I don’t think one person’s views should hold so much sway. After all, the customer is the king. Let him/her decide what to they want to buy.

    So chill you India worshippers/bashers.

  5. To B Kumar

    I am 60 yrs old and independent India too. I can assure you Kumar, India is changing. The change was painfully slow and it is changing fast, since last decade; thanks to the younger generation on whom we, the parents, had invested a lot. India is in right direction and the negative points, noted by you, are being addressed fast.

    Unfortunately the USA is in trouble, because more selfidh people are in control, both in politics and in business. And it shows in its decline. It is a cycle and it can happen to any country.

    Trust me India is doing better, far better than any other country, including China. I can vouch that with my 60 yrs. We are changing fast for good and keep it good, as long as the younger generation keep investing on their children, as we did in the past.

    For America, all I can say is good luck. Why? They have inherited people like you, who have no qualms in spitting their own mother on their face.

  6. This is a classic stupid case….American companies can’t afford to run a company and are blocking other’s who can afford. Americans should first be concerned about managing their own economy better rather than commenting about Indians or Indian work.
    We all know where GM , FORD stand…..even Americans would agree that they SUCK big time…

    So..folks think bigger….The ways Americans have made racist comments is not helping. You are missing big global picture at your own risk.

    Good Luck to you !!!!

  7. I find it funny that nearly everyone commenting on this story basically acknowledges that “brand image” and “quality” are sufficiently arbitrary terms left to our individual perceptions, prejudices and tastes. If the cars are suitable they’ll be purchased. If not, they won’t. Whoever owns the means of production will benefit. In Japan, a Lexus is just a Toyota.

  8. Listen guys this is a typical business model.. A company sells products or services to its local market in which it was born. Then it tries to expand to enighbouring markets. Once it has captureed most of the market in its own country then it tries to expand overseas. The Indians and Chinese companies after capturing their own market are naturally going to expand overseas.. This looks new for an average American ‘Cos he/she is used to see American companies going overseas and not vicecersa.. So Tata’s will serve different markets with different needs and all that matters is what’s your bottom line…

  9. This is an interesting discussion going on here. Also fascinating that many of the Indians posting here live in the West themselves.

    There is still some racism left in the USA, agreed. However India is far more racist. Indians discriminate on the basis of skin color more than Westerners. Untouchability, casteism and classism are much more rampant in India than in the US.

    To the Indians asking Americans if they have ever traveled outside USA: Did you guys ever go to a poor village in India? The countryside is where 70% of the population lives. They live in utter poverty. The corrupt elite of the country has done nothing for its own people. In fact, many Indians treat the poor as sub-humans. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

    USA is one of the most liberal countries in the world, remnants of racism notwithstanding.

    In any case, this article is about Jaguar dealers complaining about image problems if Tata buys the brand. It is a legitimate issue. If Tata can make high quality cars for a decade, it probably won’t be much of an issue. That is how Lexus became an accepted luxury brand in the US.

    I am an Indian and live in the USA.

  10. It’s not that TATA is not good, the company and its vision are in fact really awsome…
    What I think is that people have never expected to see a link between JAG-LR and TATA…(frankly speaking I am one of them)Where are the TATA vehicles with relatively no comparison with these prestigious make…but guys do understand something “MONEY LEADS EVERYTHING”…Which means TATA is leading and the rest will follow.
    It will take time to accept but it will be accepted forcefully…Good luck TATA

  11. Indians had better toughen up. If they want to be successful in this world, they had better get used to racism from the White Man. All minorities that have become successful have learned how to tolerate the White Man’s wrath and use it against him. Indians need to have brains and even bigger balls if they want to get rich!

  12. CC in China, Indians buying Jaguar and Land Rover is just fine – given the amount of individual wealth that is being produced in India. If your income is anywhere near the average Chinese factory worker toiling away in a smokestack, you and the rest of your kind in China would not be able to afford Landrovers anyway. Forget luxury cars – try aspiring for some basics like political freedom first. Feel free to take some lessons from India which is the world’s largest democracy.

  13. I can’t believe the number of comments this article/blog has gotten. It can only happen when the author has compared apples to oranges.
    1. The author has’nt done a good job by initiating a comparison that was unwarranted.
    2. Jaguar and Land Rover will most probably be owned by an Indian company, so what?
    3. Did the Tatas say they will manufacture these cars in India.
    4. When Ford bought these companies in the 1980’s even Ford’s quality was dismal.
    5.in 15 -20 years Ford was’nt able to do much with these brands, that’s why Ford is selling it.
    6. will the Tata’s make these cars industry leaders. The answer is NO.
    7. They are buying on the cheap and they are going to get their hads on some of the latest technologies out there for automotive manufacture and technology. thats what the Tatas are looking for. The brands are gravy to the whole affair.
    8. Tatas won’t dilute the brand equity.
    9. Mr Gorin is underestiamting the acumen that the Tatas possess.
    10. His investment is safe as a Jaguar car dealer.
    11. UK is’nt all that great anyway. the UK brand does’nt have the same cachet as Made in Italy or Made in Germany or even Made in Japan.
    12.the interesting thing would be how much money will the Tatas make from this deal if AT ALL.

  14. If Jaguar and Land Rover are to be taken over by Tata, I guess only Indians will buy them.

  15. BST, LOL. Do I smell something burning on your side in your trailer park?? Obviously I touched a nerve given your reaction. When reason fails them, the ignorant like you resort to abuse. Don’t talk to me about what is a collection – some of the cars I own (Ferarris) have won International car show awards. But over in your trailer park, you would not know the difference. And who said where I lived?? I have several homes and one of them happens to be in SJ. And yes, I do also own a Tata Safari which I like a lot and use when I am in Mumbai). As far as your India experience, I suspect you must have stayed in the equivalent of a NY ghetto – that’s only to be expected on shoestring budgets. Next time you visit, I recommend the Leela Hotel in Bangalore which has been named Number One Business hotel in the world by Conde Nast AND it is wholly Indian owned and operated. HA.

  16. I love Land Rovers. I have owned several of them over the years. I own hundred of books, magazines and videos about Land Rovers. I own Land Rover models, Land Rover clothing and have been a member of my local Land Rover club for years. But no more. An Indian Land Rover might as well be a Chinese Land Rover or a Mexican one for all I care. I simply have no interest in owning one. So my current Land Rover will sadly be my last one, as I will likely move on to Mercedes or BMW when the time comes to replace it.

    Ta-ta Land Rover!

  17. I guess there is a point in saying that consumers may have a image/quality issue with Tata Motors buying Jaguar. After all I never bought a Jaguar knowing it was owned by Ford because Ford is not exactly known for its quality.

    Ford is commonly referred to as Fix or Repair Daily. So I guess cosnumers have to make a choice. Buy a Jaguar from a company historically known for making bad quality cars (Ford) or from a company that is up and coming (Tata Motors).

    You choose.

  18. I am a Taiwanese-American and believe it is NOT a racist thing towards Indians when consumers are hesitant buying luxury cars from India. The biggest factor is that India has no track record in producing the quality luxury cars Americans demand. Look at Hyundai, it has still not made a dent in the American luxury market after two decades. Indian people, it is not personal so please put away your nationalistic pride. You need to take things one step at a time like Toyota and Honda. They produced very well respected cars starting with cheaper cars then 20 years later came up with their luxury lines so please India do not take shortcuts and do the same. This is probably the biggest problem with the New World Economy – shortcuts shortcuts shortcuts

  19. Too bad that Ken Gorin thinks that the American public wont accept Jaguar as “out of India”. If it is OK to have babies “Made in India”, why not cars. It is unfortunate that people with 17th century mentality are running 21st century companies.

  20. Very good article, John Elliot’s article is correct. Brands take generations to build and they are sustained on the perceptions of their customers. Americans are very conscious about where their cars come from. For example, even though German cars are not necessarily the best, they command 5 to 10 grand more in price simply by being status symbols. And it is not racisms Mr Kamal Nath; something you’d expect to hear from a corrupt Indian politician. When Chinese cars come to the United State they will experience the same problem, true or not, about inferior design and quality vis-a-vis comparable Japanese or Korean models.

  21. This article really lacks any credibility since there is no data provided to support any of the conclusions drawn by the writer. Also, this is precisely the mentality that US automakers had during the 50’s and 60s for Japanese cars. Another example – Y2K when the major US IT services companies did not consider the new and smaller Indian Software companies as a threat. And now several of the Indian companies have a higher market capitalization then the US companies.

  22. If an alien would read this thread it would move to India site unseen… then when it finds out all the hypocritical commentators live in the US or UK it would get angry and blow up the world… in conclusion, you should all be brave, follow your hearts, and move like I did.

  23. now i am proud i am one among thousands of TATA associate in india,we say CHAKE DE TATA.one thing i want to clear to those US dealers when japanese company toyoto producaed its low cost cars the same comment came from US today .plenty of leading US companies have adopted the methods like six sigma in their manufacturing process.japan’s electronic goods and toyoto brand is one among leading brand there.so today you hesitate indian brands soon u ll be in que to bid for our deals.”india products dosent have quality ” this quotes have passed out long back.indian companies are in shining path .try to use them .my hearty congrats to my parents company TATA and other indian companies too.continue ur glorious path ….

  24. Clearly, an Indian company as successful as Tata can manage and operate LR and Jag…but should they? I think not. First of all, a disclaimer…I own a LR Disco 2003 and I’m an Indian American (my parents came from India in the late 60’s). I bought my LR b/c it was distinctive and came from a family of British made automobiles. It is clearly one of the iconic products seen in the US daily that invokes the British image. So, naturally I was very upset when Ford bought them and would be very upset if Tata does the same. People buy cars for the tradition/history and uniqueness it brings them (not quality); otherwise I would have bought a Camry. If that brand image changes, everyone loses…Tata, the customer, and dealers. Yes, some of the comments can be taken as racist, but I don’t take them that way. It’s a valid fear. The US car market is getting more challenging and LR/Jag dealers need all the help they can get…Changing the brand will significantly affect sales, this is the case of any product.

  25. I don’t see how being owned by an Indian company is any worse for reputation than being owned by an American auto company. This could actually improve their image after being owned by Ford.

  26. Lets consider something relevant, like customer satisfaction. I’ve got an 03 Jaguar, X Type 3.0 with 82k miles. In May I needed $1500US worth of new oil pan gasket, in August $900US worth of water pump, in October $1300US for a new drive shaft, and today $600 worth of fuel injector work. While waiting in the showroom I was blown away by the new XK’s and the XF looks great, but I would never keep a Jag more than 50k miles, again, no matter who owns the Company.

  27. Great job Srinivas! Dear BST, please think about your Jerry Falwells, Pat Robertsons, Bob Jones, etc before ranting about hindu fundamentalists.

  28. If the dollar keeps declining, we wont be able to afford Chinese or Indian cars.

  29. Any products or services that come from India are completely useless. I was considering the purchase of a Land Rover as my next vehicle. If Ford sale the brand to an Indian company or lets an Indian company produce any of it products, I will switch to a Chevy.

  30. I dont understand why my fellow countrymen/women have a problem admitting that India lacks some of the the basic necessities. Having said that, I think the TATA group is in a different class altogether. These guys have done their bit at research and have manufactured cars suitable for Indian roads (my family back home owns a Sumo and are quite pleased!). The red buses that traverse the village roads, the lorries (trucks), compact cars that can maneuver easily through the crowded streets- these guys have done their homework..and know what they are doing. So, while I admit some areas could use a facelift, I wonder if it is fare to look at the TATA group in the same light. I believe they can live up to International Standards and deliver quality that is expected of them.

  31. As a current LR and Volvo owner my concern here is not about the premiere LR and Jag brands being acquired by an Indian Company, but the fact that the Indian Company (TATA) is currently touting its release of one of the world’s cheapest cars. To be successful in today’s global economy, it is impractical and imprudent to avoid foreign investments. Think of it this way, would you want Armitron to buy Omega?

  32. If Tata takes over Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford, I am sure they would not do anything to jeopardize their investment. In fact, the public would be largely unaware that Tata had ownership, hence I am not sure why the dealers are concerned.
    Ford would not sell Jaguar/Land Rover if they were not already in trouble. A change in management can only help at this point

  33. Just a couple of quick ones:

    I can see it now …, no I cant!
    I think I’ll but a land Rover…, no I wont!
    and as to all the “racist comments”, why dont we talk about “the untouchables”

  34. It really doesn’t matter who takes over Land Rover and Jaguar in India. FORD will get a great deal and the poor people in India that will be making these 2 Luxury cars will be making pennies. Why else would TATA or M&M want to take these to fine cars. BOTTOM LINE…MORE MONEY IN THIER POCKETS.

  35. Hi,
    Well as everyone knows Tata is entering into detailed talks for the takeover. Wonder why Ford didn’t listen to any of the complaints of the U.S. owners or users. This is a business and in the end, it’s all about the money.
    Secondly, all that bragging from the U.S. dealers about cars being inferior if Tata takes over, why don’t one of the U.S car companies take over? Cause they are into real heavy losses over the “quality” cars they make

  36. I have been driving a Jaguar XJ8 for many years. If this company is anything like outsourced support from India that many companies use, I have only one thing to say to jaguar………..Ta Ta, SEE YA

  37. its bad enough that jaguar was own by ford that is going bankcrupt. Now it’s own by tata…which has even less experience running a first class car company.
    jaguar is going down the drain.
    for one they lose me as a customer now.
    and yes, people try to look rich are discriminating on image. you don’t see designer fashion from india…it’s from italy and france…name brand made in china has a much lower sticker price. the same piece make in italy will charge a lot more. So is a car…

  38. SK, my reason for owning LRs are unrelated to quality…its the BRAND IMAGE s***id !!!And, please dont claim status as a car collector if you own 3 more cars than the average undocumented worker.
    In Mr.T’s words ” I pity the fools, who still do not get it”.I’ve lived in India and owned Indian made products and hence my ‘positive’ feel of Indian products (again, if you haven’t noticed the sarcasm in my statement, its bcos you are still bubble-headed) And if you do not like religious freedoms in the U.S., what are you doing here, the last time I checked SJ was still a part of the US. You should be in India and adding cars made by Tata to your ‘collection’. LOL

  39. I believe that India is shining and so is this article rightly says , If People critisize it means that you are doing right and better . I love Tata’s to take over Orient Express & Jaguar deal.

  40. Srinivas, well done. Let’s send a message to the Editor that is loud and clear. (Editor, I hope you are listening)

  41. BST, Ignorance hurts even more than Truth. Just how many times have you been to India or owned India-made products. Tata needs no lesson in Quality from America or Britain. I have owned and liked fine automobiles for a long time and currently have three Lexus’s and two Ferrari’s in San Jose. I have stayed away from Jag and Land Rover because of their “cutting-edge” quality (if YOU haven’t noticed the sarcasm it’s probably because you are a bubblehead ranting and raving about unrelated subjects such as “religious freedom” which by the way is much better in India than the in the US and Britain which are based n biblical laws.) If Tata ends up owning Jag and Land Rover I will certainly consider adding these cars to my collection.

  42. People couldn’t be more prejudiced and narrow minded when they say that Jaguar and LandRover would lose its appeal when owned by an Indian company. People like BST should step outside their shell and recognize the emerging power of India as a quality manufacturing hub. Maybe you mistook India for China.

  43. It is time for the US to wake up to the new age Indian financial revolution. India must be taken seriously by the west or it risks being left behind. Paul Charney

  44. Wow..America is sure confused about quality…QUALITY IS WHAT YOU BUY OFF THOSE SUPER MALL SHELVES …MORE THE LEAD THE BETTER THE QUALITY…

  45. For all you people taking shots at Elliot’s comments – The Truth Hurts…I’ve owned and liked Land Rover vehicles for a long time, my attitude towards them (LRs) will change if they are acquired by Tata or M&M. I’ve met with the same opinion from other LR owners. The reason? – because Indian companies are known to make the best cutting edge products…(if you haven’t noticed the sarcasm in my voice, its probably because you are bubble-headed like folks such as Rahul and Srinivas)
    And as for Mr Kamal Nath, he should stop talking about concepts such as India Inc. and wake up, smell the coffee and try to resolve the reality of poverty, illiteracy and corruption that is rampant in India. And lets start with religious freedom and get rid of Hindu nationalitst clowns.
    Sorry for digressing from the subject matter in Elliot’s blog….the bottom-line is – please look at the local reality in India, before you shoot down bloggers who have done so…

  46. I sent this e-mail to editor of Fortune magazine, I hope somebody at Fortune responds.

    =======

    TO THE EDITOR OF FORTUNE

    Sir/Madam,

    Please take a look at this blog –

    http://ridingtheelephant.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2007/12/17/tata-hits-image-problems-in-the-us/#comments

    I found author’s blog entry to be racist and unworthy of publication because it lacks any meaningful data or analysis. An Indian publication, Economic Times, and a powerful senior Indian central minister, Mr.Kamal Nath, were lightly dismissed using these phrases – “Indian jingoism”, “bluster”.

    Of course, the author may not know enough about Mr.Kamal Nath’s many “contributions” to previously failed Doha rounds. Recently Lakshmi Mittal thanked him for ‘weighing in’ during Arcelor’s failed attempts to curb Mittal’s takeover plans. For every body’s enlightenment, let me state this – this minister carries a big stick. Definitely no “bluster” there.

    As a reader of Indian business publications for close to two decades, I don’t get my India related content from American magazines. I peruse American produced content to learn what Americans are told about Indian businesses. Occasionally I respond to American/British authors’ erroneous(or morally incorrect) publications. That is how I came to know about this blog entry.

    I found the author lacking in knowledge and experience in evaluating Indian businesses and producing meaningful and/or useful India related content.

    More than anything, as a PAID SUBSCRIBER to your print edition, I object to this tacit racist slant in a blog entry posted by an author paid for by Fortune, content served to readers by Fortune web servers. I look forward to meaningful and effective action from your side. Response will be much appreciated. A public response on the said blog may be much more appropriate. Thank you.

    Regards,
    Srinivas

  47. Oh, and by the way Mr Elliot –

    In my comment earlier, I wrote London, UK against my name since that is where I wrote my comment from. I have however stayed 25 years in India. Of the years I have stayed outside, I spend more than a month annually in India. I was in Mumbai yesterday. Why I care to belabor this point? Just cos you mentioned in your next article that the strong comments you received were mostly from Indians living outside the country, an explanation / observation that is almost laughable🙂

  48. It would be naive on anyone’s part to build a point-by-point illustration on why your logic is flawed, not least by challenging your perception of quality as that is quite individualistic.

    Just the one obvious flaw in your reasoning is your argument around Taj Hotels and their quality – suggesting that OEH is questioning the current quality of Tata’s car models / manufacturing process. It is not so. OEH is saying that their association with Taj / Indian entity will reduce brand value. Most newspapers / administrators and corporates that challenge this assertion, are justified and you do not make any cogent argument as to why not.

  49. Fortune Editor, I hope you are read through the comments chain for this article. A read-through makes the following points obvious:
    #1) A lot of people, including myself, have found John Elliot’s remarks to be offensive (especially the last few in the article). The “crowd” is usually right.
    #2) Elliot has learnt little about India, it’s people and it’s businesses, in spite of his stated long stint in India.
    #3) The articles is slanted to suit Elliot’s biased view and does not include other facts and references that would provide better perspective on the topic. I expect better from Fortune.
    #4) Based on the above, John Elliot should be retired from the India desk in favor of someone who can bring a fresher, more open-minded perspective.

  50. Just my 2 cents on this issue….who is better equipped to manage these brands?
    First of all One Equity does’nt have any experience in managing a auto-manufacturing company, whereas Tata is known for its research and quality and seems better poised to manage these brands. I don’t think anyone wants to change the brand names of these cars (I am sure Tata certainly wont), but I digressed. Anyhow, any company which has a global footprint also started with humble beginnings with evolving research putting out better products. I am sure when Ford started making cars, they did’nt have the best quality, they learn’t from their mistakes, research etc to provide better products. Tata certainly has come a long way similarly. I wonder why anyone would think, TATA WILL NOT provide the best quality.

  51. Tata is looking to catapult into the global stage fast albiet at a cost. Jaguar will surely bleed them but not Land Rover- surely they would done their homework.

    Today Tata’s are into small cheap cars but at some stage they have to scale up to semi & luxury models – they will have to go up the learning curve – this is their strategy – to have a ready learning school – at least 5 years to understand the business.

    Tata Motors stock will take a beating in the short run but the IP, patents & learning would be tremendous.

    Watch TTM in 3-5 yrs – they should be global force in small fuel efficient cars,Dominant in Commercial vehicles in India & emerging mkts, ideal launch platform to aggresively pursue high end models.Do not forget India is growing at 9% pa – if it sustains – then in retrospect it will look like a master acquisition.
    Tata’s in their acquisitions always look to the future 3-5 yrs.
    Thanks

  52. From reading some of the scathing comments against Mr. Elliott I must ask my fellow Indians why is it so hard for us to receive constructive criticism? Why is it that whenever someone says something that is negative but it’s true about India, many Indians will get emotionally angry. The truth is the truth; India has many problems (i.e. malnutrition, lack of education among it’s people, lack of power supply, etc….).

  53. Image Issues ? – My Mirror is Made in India.
    Its hilarious to hear about US dealers baulking at selling Jaguars after they are TATA owned.
    Many large enterprises in the US are owned or co-lateralled by a host of foreign companies.
    Uncle Sam never balked when a brown,black white hand dishes or receives money.
    Uncle Sam (Thank God !)is color blind . “Quality Issues” are the last refuge for the uninitiated in global finance.
    World Class products are being refined, tested & honed everyday by Asian & South East Asian countries.
    Hotmail has the same quality AFTER being financed and partly owned by an Indian.
    Sometimes ignorance is bliss….

  54. Crash Test Dummy
    —————————-
    Mr Osamu Suzuki’s recent haughty unprovoked rival bashing makes him look like a middle tier / Old world Savant or Sycophant.
    His scorn seems distinctly self-doubt rhetoric. The 50% key is what Suzuki takes out of India for each and every car.
    The competition that he faces from TATA in India is healthy business rivalry, not kamakazi politics.
    He shouldnt forget that Japan faced the same disdain but a few decades ago when humbly entering the US market.
    The “J” factor but a few decades ago could very easily be misconstrued as “Junk” when the first few low segment
    cars were introduced in the US. In time , with refinement Suzuki too blossomed. Tatas are way ahead of that game
    and are as serious as your intent for quality. Mr Osamu, Thrash talking can be a two way street or DO ITTA (Move out of the way).

  55. **Bad Orient Expressed**
    Paul White,the elitist has shown his “pedigree” by conjoining defense with an offense.He has every right to refuse collaboration,but he has no right to shoot down who he does not want to work with.He could have politely declined by saying “incompatible brand synergies”.Dont malign rivals in a global arena with off-the-edge emotions.His indignant rebuff reeks of branding his company of a higher immortal status than factual.Same goes for the other orient-Mr.Osamu Suzuki…

  56. i thin John is trying to offer the Indian companies constructive criticism.

    There’s the case of Hyundai. They have had cars on the US market since the 80s. A Hyundai used to be a cheap piece of junk. It has gotten better,though Toyota and Honda have kept their noses ahead.

    Indians need to better understand the way Americans do business. The typical car buyer relies on Consumer Reports magazine,which has rated cars and their repair records for decades now.There are other car guides of course.

    The Tata’s have a long way to go in their quest to become a global car company. Indian politicians and readers being obnoxious and calling Mr Elliot names is pointless at best

  57. Guess where the best hotel in the world is… in India. Guess where 3 of top 5 hotels in Asia are… in India.

    Check out these links…

    Travel+Leisure World’s Best Awards 2007:

    http://www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest/2007/results.cfm?cat=hotels

    http://www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest/2007/results.cfm?cat=hotelsasia

    If anybody has Mr.White’s email, please send this to him.

  58. decades of purposeful shoddy,silly newsreports about India(and in general the world as a whole) has given ‘Americans’ a ..suprise..shoddy, silly idea of the rest of the world/people..for example how many times have you heard in the general media or newarticles that Indians in USA are the richest & most educated ‘people’ out of everyone else including all other Asian groups and whites. rarely or never(go look up census data I promise you its there!)…plus how many times do you hear call center associated with India..but lol never the 100’s of new research(brain) centers popping up there rarely or never ..i could go on & on…but I will stop…my underlying theme is Americans get skewed reporting and sorry to say don’t have all the facts(or afraid to hear the facts)

  59. Are you kidding me? India quality is horrible, dirty and cheap junk. Getting quality from India resources is impossible. I know, I work for a multinational large corporation, and have many years of experience. India’s workers dont want to work, do a poor job when they do do some work, and they complain. They should just watch American workers and learn the right way to do things. Or Japanese workers. India has a LONG way to go before the world opinion of their poor quality is changed. In fact, it has become worse quality in recent years.

  60. Hi Mr John Elliot,
    I am an Indian staying in Detroit for almost 4 years.I don’t think you really have any clue about what you are writing regarding the quality of automobiles in India.
    DO you ever read newspapers here in USA or check financial reports of leading US Auto companies?
    If you are well aware of US market, Name at least one US made Auto company that is making a quarterly profit.

    Do you know two leading US auto companies GM and Ford posted biggest ever yearly financial loss ever produced by an auto company anywhere in the world.
    GM 10.5billion dollars
    Ford 12.6 billion dollars
    If the American made cars are so high quality why no one not even Americans buy from these companies.
    Why they have to dole out cash rebate offers just to sell an car?

    Why do people buy Japaneses cars in USA?
    Because they are reliable and run without any issues for 200,000 miles.

    How many American cars are on road that has more than 200,000 miles without any issues.
    Just go and search auto recalls and you can see million and millions of American made cars have been recalled time and time again. Even Toyota get recalled but not to the scale of GM or Ford.

    Please Dont talk about Indian quality since there are so much issues with American made cars itself.

    I Find most of your articles are not thoroughly researched and most important biased and racist. Fortune editorial staff are also many anti India comments.
    You talk about quality and Mr white reservations and Indians are not well equipped to handle these.

    You work for a company (Time warner that is the parent of Fortune) that made world worst acquisition blunder ever made in the world paying 164 billion USD for AOL and later had to to report a loss of $99 billion in 2002 – at the time, the largest loss ever reported by a company.
    You then even removed AOL from your company name. Read the facts and write anything

    I am sure you may not post this article and hope you will do it.

  61. Why unnecessary shout? Do you guys think that article written by elliot who don’t know anything about biz than writing with better phrases. World is global village. Citi will takeover ICICI or even Microsoft could take over Infy or it could happen viceversa(Just for example).US investors would continue to invest in India, because they looks for opportunity than craps.I don’t want to look this as a war between USA & Indians. Both the people are good. They’re human being. US has provided huge opportunity for world including India. Now US is in trouble. Let India provide the same what US does so long? Whatz wrong in it? People only can shout. Businessmen continous do their biz irrespective of ???? You’ve find out guys, SEC , by the way SEC mean Stupid Elliott Comments.

  62. The thing that most people dont understand about TATA acquisition is that, TATA is only involved “Financially”. The products are still researched, and mass-produced in UK. Look at TETLEY or CORUS acquisition? Tata is only there for financial backing of these down-trodden companies. Everything else about these companies are very “British” Indeed.

  63. Some of the concerns about Tata’s brand image as related to luxury brands are valid.

    Tata will soon be rolling out the world’s cheapest car. In Brand marketing and identity, that is quit a contradiction with selling Landrovers and Jags.

    I am not saying its impossible, or wrong or anything – probably hardly anyone has pulled it off.

    Tata has never sold Luxury vehicles in a nonIndian market before – so it is entering new territory here.

    One cannot question Tata’s manufacturing and management expertise – they are top class.

    But can Tata produce an ad like the iMac ad that Apple has on Tv? Apple has stuck to its market segment – design conscious consumers.

    Dell has had troubles selling to both ends of the range – the budget laptop and then the high end laptop – go to Google India or Google California and you wont see many Dells there. So to a design conscious consumer – Dell is not sexy.

    So its a psychological battle , a cultural battle thats going to be hard for Tata.

    Shifting topics just a little bit ,
    I think both scenarios are equally likely – Orient Express CEO Paul White could be a bit open-minded and recognize that good management comes in colors other than white. Secondly the Tata executive that was taking an issue with White did not neet to flaunt his majority shareholding stuff.

  64. The writer is just reporting what others have said. It might be difficult to swallow but anybody living in India knows how the sytem runs and it is like any other third world country. It is no way comparable to the quality of life America/Europe can offer. People keep coming to USA/Europe even though they keep complaining about discrimination. If counries were really ofering comparable quality of service what is available here, people will think twice before coming here. The writer has clearly pointed about Jingoism. Don’t prove that. Bottomline is no matter how much people be proud of their country, fact remains that service in a third world is normally a of that quality(barring a few exceptions).

  65. A weird blog entry. I feel sorry for the blogger. He has obviously not set foot outside the US of A.

  66. The fact that Ford is selling JLR is becuase its management has failed to make it profitable. Its decision to sell it purely what effects its bottom line, doesn’t matter who buys it. From what i understand they were only three bidding companies shortlisted, Tata, M&M and a private equity firm. Why aren’t there other car makers american or european based, in the list? Its simple, they will fail, Ford has tried it and failed miserably. So don’t worry about who buys what company, the world is already one global market. As for the Americans who worry too much about image, class, quality of products, i have a question for them. When last did you purchase a toy or a piece of clothing that is not made in China or India. When I go home to India my relative will ask me to bring something that has a tag that says “Made in America” of which I seldom find. Lastly, I want to say that JLR will do great under Tata’s management.

  67. Tatas have looong experience in manufacturing. See this to understand the depth and breadth of their operations –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tata_Group

    Talking about quality, look at this list of Deming prize winners –

    http://www.deming.org/demingprize/winners_aplic04.html

    Search for India(also highlight if using Firefox), and then search for U.S.A. See the difference? Absence of US companies/offices in software quality certifications(issued by SEI-CMM and ISO) is also similar.

    I understand if Americans lack knowledge about Tata’s capabilities. But Indians? What can I say, some adults choose to be ignorant all their lives.

  68. Why is Jaguar on sell? Because it is in loss. Why is it in loss? Because it did not reach sell target in past. Who is part of responsibility for not acheiving sell target? Dealers
    Hey Ken Gorin & co if you done your job well in past you may not have to see this day. Instead of making statements take challenge to sell Jaguar with Tata as owner.
    If you can’t take challenge let other’s to take it. This is plain business if you can’t do give path to new one.

  69. KP from Pennsylvania,

    how many subprime mortgages did your “large bank” with all smart management folks make?

    I also work in IT, and can vouch for quality of software written in India. With a billion people, obviously there are several levels of brilliance, and you have to be smart enough to choose and incent the right ones. Otherwise, it’s the same subprime mortgage story…

  70. how can indians run a company like Jag and L.R. They can’t even speak english or when they do speak english, no one can understand them.
    Posted By Bruce, Detroit,MI : December 18, 2007 6:48 am
    ———————

    Haha! Now you need English to manufacture Cars! Very nice thinking (what this implies is that Ford people didn’t knew English, so they failed ?)

    Probably, we guys should stop being so racist!

    (BTW, I am a Britisher!)

  71. –>First,My response to one of the comments “how can indians run a company like Jag and L.R. They can’t even speak english or when they do speak english, no one can understand them.”

    You speak as if english has been born in the US.
    You can understand a chinese speak english or some european guy speaking english , You must be kidding!
    May be your brain can only process the sounds of the lighter shades.

    –>Second,Why all this hue and cry of an Indian company taking over your pride? You should be ashamed of your self..even your “UNDERGARMENTS” are made in china..You guys are ok to feed lead to your kids ..
    But thats not an issue because these are “Dirty Jobs” that Great America won’t do.
    America has still not come out of the colonial mindset.You can’t accept a brown skinned as your superior.
    Wake up to reality before it is too late.

  72. I agree with author of this article. I am Indian and I don’t find anything racial. People complaining about this article are Indians who have just got a taste of US or waiting to get into US.

    Also remember that Ford is the company who invented assembly line production. Hopefully, Now Indians are smart enough to understand what is assembly line.

  73. India’s skills to take over big ventures are not hidden anymore. India has minds and hands to put together and name it success. So, the rest of the world should not get scared from India’s growing share in the world market.

  74. Again, a ‘racist’ piece of writing from an ignorant American MoFo. Some sentences in the last paragraph are really shocking: “A more effective tack for Indian officials would be to accept that their country is just beginning to lose its decades-long reputation for dreadful quality”

    Dude, are you serious? US blindly trusted China and see whats happening with their toys and their lead poison contents and all. When have you ever even had the chance to experience the quality of Indian made goods. If you really did know the standards of the qulaity, you should have given some examples instead of barking like a mad dog. This just goes on to show the prejudice the writer has. Just a step behing being a filthy racist pig. When you have nothing good to say about something, then atleast shut your stinking mouth instead of imagining stuff and writing things.

  75. I work for an American subsidiary of an Indian software company. When I first got recruited, I didn’t even realize the company was Indian. Everyone that’s making a big deal about this won’t care in a few months (assuming the deal goes through to Tata). This is globalization people. The smartest -regardless of race or ethnicity- survive. The rest fail.

  76. I own a Jag. I love the car and its namesake. I even went to cent America to photograph them. Jags ARE great cars and ARE dependable. When British Leyland owned them, they were junk. Ford saved them. Their current downfall is the xchange rate and poor advertising. If Tata buys them, I wish them the best and hope they prove everyone wrong. By the way Tata, I have several good ideas to make your profits increase!

  77. Working in a large bank who has a vested interest in the cheap slightly educated white collar Indian workforce. We send quite a bit of work to India, however we are re-thinking our position due to the very poor quality of work we receive from our operations in India. Even staff we have from the high ranked universities in India with PhDs, know very little and are high on theories. We find them to avoid doing actual work at all costs, I am not sure I would drive one of their cars with my friends and family in it.

    I agree with you completely.

    I am Indian and work in IT. Indian (from India) thinks they going to take over world, give me a break ! They have no clue how bad their quality is.

  78. Sell it to Tata if you want to see Jaguar on road in future. Otherwise, it will just be extinct.

  79. The Jaguar brand name is diluted when Ford bought it and then used Ford parts to build Jaguar. The X-Type is a rebadged Ford with a Jaguar emblem. So much for brand name!

  80. I’m an American of Indian origin living in the San Francisco Bay area. Lot of Americans of Indian Origin drive BMWs and Merc. Benz here. We will be more than happy to switch to Jags and LRs once Tata or Mahindra owns them.

  81. Tata stands for quality. Period. Jaguar and Land Rover both has gone down in price and quality after Ford took them over. Tata can certainly bring back the image they once had.

    Mr. John Elliot, I find your article more racist as you have tried to discount the image of a reputable company based on Jingoism in media. I failed to understand the co-relation.

  82. It’s unfortunate that some of us see this as an Indian company taking over the business of Jaguar and Land Rover. You have people who run the company. If you have a good management team with a clear vision and goal then you will be successful. Why did CitiBank pick a person of Indian origin to head the Bank. I am sure if Tata win’s the contract they will have a solid management team to run this venture. Tata’s have money and they are willing to spend money. It’s nothing different than fund from China, Singapore and Middle East buying companies in the US or increasing their existing stakes here in the US.

    In a world of globalization, you cannot expect to sell things to other countries and not allow other countries to come and invest in your country. It’s a two way street.

  83. May be I’m reading this all wrong, but isn’t Jaguar still going to be made in the UK? Isn’t this just a transfer of ownership, so to speak? Didn’t the union at the UK plants endorse Tata?
    I can totally understand the perception problem if production is being shifted to India. But it appears that the hooplah is because the UK plants and the brands are going to be Indian-owned. That sure sounds a teeny bit racist to me. As for luxury hotels, ever visited the Boston Ritz-Carlton lately?

  84. Is India bad for Jaguar?

    I think the more obvious question would be:

    “Is Jaguar bad for Tata?”

    It may be called Jaguar but in reality its a sick Elephant, expensive to maitain and with zero value. It has the potential to drag down a healthy company like Tata into the red zone. If Ford with all its financial clout could not turn it around, what are the chances for Tata to achieve that? They might succeed but then again, they might fail, like Ford before them.

    Having said that, if any Indian company can turn JLR around, then its Tata.

    I think people fail to understand that JLR has more to gain from Tata than the other way around.

  85. Perphas Jag Delaers don’t know the class of tata hotels (Taj Hotels) in india and around the world. The Tata Group is one of India’s oldest, largest and most respected business conglomerates. It comprises 98 companies and operates in six continents. It employs some 2,89,500 people and collectively has a shareholder base of over 2.9 million and market capitalisation of $73.6 billion as on December 13, 2007.

    If Jag dealers are worried about the image of the brand, than they should have opposed when Ford took over Jag, Land Rover and Volvo. If you talk about pricing going with luxury. Ford has dropped prices of all the brands above after they bought them up. Not only that the depreciation value of Land Rover is the highest for any 4 wheeler.

  86. As many of the comments have said, Jaguar is a Brand(with a capital B), and it stands for quality sports cars (although not top-end). If Tata release a budget model, you dilute that Brand!

    Suddenly, it is no longer a quality sports car brand! Mercedes have done a similar move with its A-Class, BUT have not made it a budget car. More a small car for the wealthy.

    If Jaguar keep on making the same sort of cars it has for years, to be honest, noone will care or take any notice who owns it, Indian or otherwise.

    The fact that it has been owned by Ford, fully proves this. If people really cared about the owners, surely the behemoth of mass-market cars would have scarred the Jaguar brand beyond all recognition. But it’s doing OK.

    Bring on the Tata ownership, don’t bring on the budget cars, and very importantly, don’t stick a Tata badge on the boot (trunk) which I’m sure they won’t anyway.

    James

  87. Tata is beloved in India, and rightly so, considering their work. Like Gorin says, if perception is reality, then you should check out the average Indian’s perception of Tata. You wouldnt be commenting about them without adequate research. As to the question of ‘Will they be able to run luxury cars and hotels’ when they plan to produce $2500 cars, please note that the group has always catered to both ends of the pyramid and this is nothign new to them.

  88. There are reasons why the credibility of American journalism is being questioned. John Eliot may be one of them. This is Mr. Eliot’s second article with its ‘quasi racist’ slurs. Obviously Mr. Eliot ignores the reasons why Ford is selling Jaguar and also has no idea about the trends in International business. Its about time Fortune retires him to preserve its own credibility and the objectivity of its articles.

  89. Taj Mahal is the Indian symbol of quality, just like Ajanta and Ellora. Have the American’s ever built anything like it. Tata’s are doing Ford a huge favour. American jingoism worked with the Japs and Chinese because they did not have an English reading population who could read biased articles in American media and let them get away with it. American propaganda machinery should focus on the quality of Ford vehicles and the reasons why Jaguar is in this mess. Isn’t it because of Ford Motor Car Company, an iconic American organization!!! What do you say about their management and product quality Mr.John Eliot? Have you driven a Ford lately?

  90. Tatas are not buying Jaguar or LR to ruin them. They will strengthen the product with their meticulous skills. They may obtain cheaper parts from sister concerns but that may be better than Ford’s plastic parts. See what Tatas have done to Tetley or Corus. No regrets for either companies or their employees. American Dealer resistance is probably prompted by the fear that Jaguars will be made from India. Tatas are not fools to shift the entire plant to India. They will still be made from UK. Tatas will always retain the top executives and they always run the show from behind.

  91. This chap who wrote this piece needs serious education!!He should study how TATA steel was started more than 100 years ago and how they snubbed the snobish Englishman.

  92. You guys are getting too serious out here in the Comments section. My point is, if behavior of Paris Hilton doesn’t affect the Hilton brand, the old image of India should not affect the Jaguar brand either.

  93. Fortune writers – unlike those in more globally aware mags – while they turn out the occassional stories like Enron or HP, they routinely churn out inane, populist, dogmatic views such as this.
    It is an amusing display of ignorance -at least to those who can afford anything other than their local motels – when the writer talks about quality at Taj Hotels in India. They are recognized globally for superior service (though perhaps they rightly avoided rolling out the red carpet for this guy!)
    The key point of the article – that some midwest rednecks won’t buy luxury because Indians are not known for luxury perhaps should try stepping out of their states, check into a Taj hotel in India, and see lifestyle of the above average in India and the works of art & luxury populating world’s museums. Is this perception a problem – sure! Can Tata’s take it on – of course. And by the way folks, don’t forget that China and India will soon be the biggest markets for all luxury goods, so perhaps Tatas can afford to antagonise a few Gorins!

  94. Guys, most of you seem to miss the point of the article. The issue that Jag deallers are raising is the image. Jag, whether deserved or not, is considered to be a luxury car. Like any luxury, it is defined by higher price and lower production. But mostly by image and uniqueness. Except for couple of categories that are unique to India to begin with, India is not known as a manufacturer of luxury goods. Fashion, watches, parfumes, cars, wiskey – non of them are manufacturered in India, nor China for this matter. Cartier does not outsource its top lines. Start producing cognac just 20 miles outside of the Cognac province in France and it is called brandy and sells at half price. The same is for a Jaguar – its image is a British sports car, not something made in India. Again, it is not always about quality nor about value or price.

    As far as whether it is a good move for Tata and whether selling Jags in India is a good strategy for Jaguar – those are not relevant points. The article quotes AMERICAN car deallers who are concerned about selling cars in America, not about selling them in India and not even about the well being of the car manufacturer at all. Those deallers are in the American market and that’s what influenced their concern.

    P.S. And by the way, the fact is that Ford is an american mass producing company is one of the reasons preventing the alliance with Jag, a British luxury car, from success. Image, nothing else.

  95. Lets see Land Rover if u have owned one is a glorified jeep with on going electrical problems.Jaguar could not be resurected by Ford be cause it mechanically had become a Ford with immatation plastic and other cost savigs items too cheapin it.As far as not accepting a Indian manufacter,FixOrRepaieDaily has been the moto of many a mechanic who has worked on any Ford.As far as quality goes it took Toyota a few years too be accepted in the U.S.A.

  96. It must be unnerving to a lot of people in this part of the world to see an Indian co. buying up the likes of Jaguar & Land Rover. I have not seen anything concrete why can’t an Indian co. buy them. It is matter of running the car mfg biz – not English & not whether Indian mfg has poor quality. So, brace up for competition & talk substance & nonesense!

  97. Hello ! It is a fact that more and more American brands and companies are being taken over / purchased by Indians. I am an Indian and I hear Indian takeover stories everyday. Globalization in its true meaning has no walls made by racism and culture. Manufacturig or selling…no one can keep themselves with out engaging a significent world market such as India.

  98. Response to Bruce from Detroit, MI re: “how can indians run a company like Jag and L.R. They can’t even speak english or when they do speak english, no one can understand them.”:

    Remember that Fiat owns Ferrari, and Volkswagen owns Bugatti. The ratio of prices of these cars is far higher than Jaguar-to-$3000 car. Jag dealers trying to block the deal is a clear case of racism.

    You seem to be oblivious to the reality of past 15 years (or is that too difficult a word). Wake up to reality, for you may not be able to hold onto your job assembling GM fecal matter in Detroit.

  99. Hi All,
    It’s heartening seeing so many comments against INDIA.
    And the basis of this whole thing is that the author (No hard feelings to author) has compared Indian Manufacturing industry to India’s Service industry.

    In that point why doesn’t the critics compare this with Indian Software industry, if Indians hotel are not according to US or European standards that doesn’t implies that we Indians are bad at that its just that we are still improving on these sectors.
    We are the same people who create quality softwares to the same US and Europe people.

    And if I compare Automobile industry than M&M have already entered US market via there Tractors which if I am not wrong are at number 4 in US markets.

  100. If you stay in one, you will know that Taj hotels are some of the best in world. TATA cars are made for a certain market and they don’t have a bad reputation for quality. If worries of Gorin and White are not because of racism (however unintentional may by) they are certainly because of severe case of ignorance. It’s sad that John seems to agree with their views. It doesn’t make sense to attributing quality to nations anymore. In this globalized world, it’s only appropriate to see the capabilities of companies in question. I don’t think some of the comments here by my fellow offended Indians are out of clear thinking either.

  101. how can indians run a company like Jag and L.R. They can’t even speak english or when they do speak english, no one can understand them.

  102. Who cares about trivial things like UAW, modern slavery, fat politicians, or racial slurs and cockroaches. We are warm in our beds!

    What is most important here is that with Force India starting the 2008 F1 season, could this be the sign of the return of Jaguar to the pinacle of motorsport?

  103. Hello,
    I am an Indian residing in the US for the past 11 years. I think overall, India may already be there in terms of matching automobile quality levels as available in the US. India most definitely was not even near teh US quality standards 11 yrs ago. But now, the challenges for Indian companies are to provide at least Japanese automobile quality at Indian prices in the US – not at US prices in India!!
    About hotels, my opinion is that India definitely beats the US in terms of quality and service – both then and now – in the luxury hotels segment. In the budget hotels segment, the US definitely beats India in quality – both then and now.
    In anycase, I strongly disagree with the attitudes like that expressed by the likes of Gorin. For those complaining about a lack of level playing field, I find it ironic, esp. since the field is ONLY now beginning to level out. What else would you call the phenomenon whereby the disparity of 300 million people in one country (US) owning 10+ times more wealth than a combined billion people in another(India) , now beginning to look more like 7+ times more wealth. This is inevitable and the best strategy for people in the US is to learn to be winners globally rather than be bitter losers locally.
    I personally feel both these countries have pros and cons. And the winners would be ones that know how to adopt the good from each country/culture and evolve.

  104. I think Americans are worried about Indian domination, which has just started. Moreover, they have fear of loosing control of every thing, thier doller is almost going negative and have lots of problem in economy. Now they are worried and cribbing under the name of Brand Equity. I hate, if you have guts, make sure your businesses run in profit. If you do not, learn from Indians.

  105. Although this was an avoidable controversy, it strengthens Tata’s negotiating position. After this ruckus Ford better have a good reason for refusing a bid from Tata. Any other way and Ford’s efforts to penetrate the Indian car market, which are showing some signs of success, will be dealt a severe blow by denting Ford’s image in India.

  106. At least they manufacter cars. It is the best point of the TATA’s. The equity firm nobody will trust.

    Jaguer and Land Rover have become low quality high end cars , meaning expensive junk, that is why nobody wants them. Jaguar needs some shrewd people to fix that simple problem.

    Further, India is the land of kings(Maharajas) they do know how to live in luxuries, It was also know in the ancient world as the jeweled kigdom. Certainly they can teach a new level of comfort to self driven American.

  107. John Elliot has wittingly or unwittingly started planting stories for One Equity Partners. However it seems that Fortune has an editorial bias towards against all things Indian; starting with Vikram Pandit and leading upto Jaguar. Tell me was it not the good old WASPish Americans who drove both Citi and Jaguar to their present state.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/S_A_Aiyar_Tata_should_be_like_Mittal/articleshow/2625123.cms

    Taj and Oberoi hotels are famous for their service and are International chains. How does the writer justify this huge self made generalization? I have lived in both India and America and I think the Americans have no idea about hospitality and service standards. Columnists from Fortune have to learn objectivity and stop writing slanted stories.

  108. This article shows paranoia among so called free-trade loving americans when their assets are being snapped up by countries holding their debt (as a result of decades of reckless spending).

    The very same american corporations like Ford enriched an otherwise low quality brand like TATA (based on experience with the quality of their TCS consulting) by displacing american workers and then Ken Gorins would have cheered. But now he sings a different tune when the shoe is on the other foot.

    Let TATA buy Jaguar, I don’t case as I don’t ever plan to drive that garage queen. I don’t think any free trade loving americans should be making funny noises like this hypocrite Ken Gorin

  109. This is such a racist column published in Fortune! I cannot believe a magazine of such repute has published this column and has lost its credibility of being an unbiased magazine! I do not feel that this is what all of Americans think the racist and sad way as the writer does.

  110. It seems the writer is paid to malign
    Tata and India.
    If jaguar goes to a private equity, it will be up for sale in a few years again.

  111. The Jag dealers in the US are a bloated and lazy lot. I visited a handful of dealers in 2005 before deciding to dump my idea and went on to buy a Merc. When I was an expat in Mumbai, I went to a TATA dealership to lease a TATA car, admittedly with reservations, ‘coz, I had hardly heard the name. But, kudos to them – excellent customer service, they followed up on every promise and went out of the way to make my purchase experience extremely satisfactory. These guys are afraid they’ll be flogged to work.

  112. We need to separate the issues embodied in this “article” as follows:

    1. The writer ought to report not issue commentary–perhaps wiser choice of words (Jingoism, etc.) would have been provided a more subjective view of the landscape

    2. This clown Ken Gorin obviously doesn’t understand the dynamics around the product he associates with (this it already has a very very poor brand identity)–the simpleton is just trying to save his job (I don’t blame him)

    3. Paul White, the dude from Orient-Express, is just protecting his job and brand–what’s he going to say “sure Tata, come and improve our guests’ hotel experience”–of course he’s going to rebuff any overtures by anyone who remotely suggests that they can do a better job with his hotels

    Last, as far as Indian quality goes–I’ve lived over there and here and experienced both–generally speaking, it is in the process of getting better, a process that all developing countries go through–not unique to India. However, Tata has proved its ability to address new markets and run its operations profitably. Given this track record, I am sure they will do a much better job of positioning and marketing these brands to the “right” market all the while making money.

    For those who believe that the brand will be tarnished–you obviously aren’t a student of the American auto industry–my dear friends the financial FACTS (look at Tata, Ford, GM and Chrysler) clearly show who is most likely to succeed here. Its not a racist thing–just who can best address the problems these brands are saddled with.

  113. “Modern day slavery, starvation, prostitution, filthy slums with no bathrooms or toilets or clean water or hydro, outrageous poverty, high crime rate, HIV, hepatitis, pollution, caste system, social and economic inequality; these are what the world knows about India.” HMMM….sounds just like Detroit to me…Ford can bearly assemble a decent automobile, let alone try and market a luxury automobile. R.I.P. Jaguar, we hardly knew what improvements Ford made with you anyway.

  114. I think you are ill informed about Tata and its image. When you talk about Taj hotels an their quality of service. Indian service and hospitality is unheard of in the US even in he best of hotels.
    India is one of the best when it comes to quality. Look at BMW and Mercedes have suppliers from India (What they go to low quality) Tata has taken over tetley tea (A high end brand).
    Tata is also the most active in social services in India? can you tell that about any private company?
    Please look up all the info about Tata and India before jumping to any conclusions.

  115. I do agree with US critics, that American may not accept Indian made Jaguar cars.You have to see how indian groceries and other items made available in US is very poorly packaged. Indians advertise vacation packages when you go there you feel disappointed.
    I am Indian origin but I am from Uganda.

  116. We ARE ready to take on the world. Come on TATA, Mahindra, Ambani’s, don’t listen to what a small group of people say. More than a Billion people are behind you. GO ON, conquer the world.

  117. For the betterment of TATA they should back off. J&LR are like the ‘English Patient’, dead or dying. They will bring down a perfectly healthy company. Just see what happened to BMW when they mistakenly picked up Rover.

  118. I am not sure why we have the whole discussion in the first place. It looks like there are only two bidders for the “Premium – Brand” being sold by FORD and both the bidders are INDIAN companies. The purchasing power of Indians has been growing and wouldn’t be surprised if Tatas or Mahindras are bidding with just the Indian market in 2020 in mind when they might be selling more Jaguars in India compared to anywhere else in the world !!!

  119. The last time I stayed at an Indian run hotel the cock roaches nearly carried me off.

  120. One fellow put this comment and I decided to comment on this person’s ignorance more than the business of cars..

    “But try getting your oen house in order 1st. Try stopping the thousands of murders of wives in India by their husbands or their husband’s families. Bride Burning – check Wikipedia. ….”

    Come on stupid, did you ever see one or just read one and extrapolated the rest to your imagination. What about all the barbaric things in the so called developed countries? Do you want me to put a list on your face? Do not swing in ignorance or you will fall hard.

    My question how come CNN posts such comments when he was barking at the wrong subject? The problem is with Media showing only a few bad things about India and hiding all of its glory? Show its rich culture, compassion, intelligence and hard working people. Good and bad is every where. We are talking about acquiring companies and not your ignorance. So stick to the point.

  121. Working in a large bank who has a vested interest in the cheap slightly educated white collar Indian workforce. We send quite a bit of work to India, however we are re-thinking our position due to the very poor quality of work we receive from our operations in India. Even staff we have from the high ranked universities in India with PhDs, know very little and are high on theories. We find them to avoid doing actual work at all costs, I am not sure I would drive one of their cars with my friends and family in it.

  122. Well I believe it is not the quality of the TATA brand but the sole threat of takeover or stake of a foreign company in the US market that is fueling this controversy.
    Just to give you an example, for the past few months I have been following the meltdown of banking sector here in US and if you look very closely there has been considerable amount of foreign investments into these cash strapped banks and that has also raised some eye brows in the US(fear of loosing stake).
    For the same reasons, TATA is facing difficulties penetrating US market. It is just that it is easier to rebuff TATA’s amibitions by claiming that TATA comes from a developing country(In this case, India) and it’s quality is questionnable.

    Kudos to Globalization…..🙂

  123. Basic Transportation need. If entire population of certain area is multiplied by area of car, there are places in world that there would be 0 movement. jaguar, Rolce Royce or Economy hybrid Car -all 3 are useless, only Coaches or buses carrying 40 to 50 passengers , trains are the best alternative for conserving energy and metal resources for any place with increasing population.

  124. Us informed, tried and tested North American consumers buy TRUE Japanese vehicles because they are reliable and offer the best resale values. Case settled. Don’t buy GM, Ford, Chrysler, Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW and NOW any of the Chinese or East Indian crap. Take a look at Toyota’s market share bumping GM and you have the resounding answer. People vote with their feet.

  125. Hear the voices from within India: modern day slavery, starvation, prostitution, filthy slums with no bathrooms or toilets or clean water or hydro, outrageous poverty, high crime rate, HIV, hepatitis, over population, pollution, cast system, social and economic inequality; these are what the East Indians and the world know about India.
    India’s tiny corporate elite should act responsibly and attend their dreadful problems at home first. Never mind Jaguar, East Indian people are suffering and dying from utter misery similar to what we see happening in some of African countries.

  126. Hi jinishans, yeah you are right I would have said the Brand NAME or the country to which a Company belongs to, rather goods made in Developed Country.So even you admit that the brand Name matters correct ?? Here in INDIA I work for IBM , even I felt bad when when our computer division was sold to Lenovo . The TATAs have the largest Software company of INDIA(TATA Consultancy Services) and I would bet any given DAY an employee of TCS would like to work IBM and we all know why.

  127. Re: Shipman post below, I doubt Indians will accept Indian currency for there exports

  128. “But try getting your oen house in order 1st. Try stopping the thousands of murders of wives in India by their husbands or their husband’s families. Bride Burning – check Wikipedia. Then we can talk again. Final note: If you are all against Imperial America (whatever that is) why do so many of you live here?”

    Socal, You certainly try to make a good point, and then come out saying something dumb like this. Everyone else come to this country for the same reason your ancestor came here.

  129. Wonder if TATA will insist on paying in Indian Rupees since evrything Indian is superior.

    No Sir, Indians love every foreign currency and not accept Indian Rupees.

  130. Once they shut the Helpdesks down we’ll own India. Oh , probably not, we have politicians that will give this country away for a tidy PERSONAL $$$$ renumeration.

  131. As a former decade long employee at TATA’s I have a few words to add here. I think both the Jaguar and LR brands are damaged goods in the US. TATA’s are really not looking at making money out of these brands itself. They are basically buying the dealerships and obtaining access to the supply chain in its globalization plans. The house of TATAs is known for business ethics and excellent employee relationship. Employees of these brands will benefit from new capital injection and job security and the company will grow through exports to Asian countries where the center of the world will move in the next few decades even as the growth wanes in Europe and Japan.

  132. Look at it the other way – may be Jaguar is bad for India, even if manufactured for export.

    Last time I looked at it, every thing else looked better, I got myself an Audi.

    If India produced a luxury brand indigenously, and part of luxury is brand name itself, then at least we can be sure that it was not an imported problem.

  133. The CEO of orient express obviously shows ignorance. The Tatas ownership of “The Pierre” then would mean that the remarks from Orient-Express were hollow and obviously based on a protectionist concern rather than on a sound strategic judgment.

  134. The statement Ken Gorin reflects on his glorified second hand car dealer attitude. With no knowledge of international business or management, he makes a nonsensical comment. Well good, atleast the TATAs will not have him as a dealer for Jaguar in the future.

    Oh, by the way I checked on google, the TATAs also own “The Pierre”, one of New York’s ultra luxury hotels. So, yes not in vehicles yet, but they do understand luxury preferring higher end customers and run luxury brands.

  135. I do not think The Writer knows his own country. So how could he ever comment on India. Do your research and put facts together. Quality does not belong to any one country.

  136. The author is dead wrong about his parting statement. Indian bluster is not “unfortunate”. Rather it’s attitudes such as “India cannot own a luxury brand” which is unfortunate.
    I travel extensively and stay every other week or so in 5 star hotels in the US and worldwide. And I can tell from first hand experience that luxury Hotels in India such as the Taj are WAAY better and more luxurious in decor and service than high-end hotels in the US. Ask anyone who has stayed at the Leela in Bangalore. Obviously the author and also the CEO of Orient Hotels havent had the benfit of staying in a luxury Hotel in India. I strongly recommend it.

  137. One of the ironies is that Daimler long ago held 8% of Tata, and helped them design a multi-purpose light-duty utility vehicle (the Tatamobile) with the front half of the body based on the 80’s Mercedes 190. I still have a spec sheet from 1990 sporting fuzzy b&w photos. Meanwhile, the partnership died, but assuming they win, would Tata get the right to sell the Daimler versions of Jags as well?

    Anyway, Ford and Daimler could probably benefit from Tata’s engineering expertise in designing low-cost compact vehicles. In the end, Jaguar will be a hobby, or a memory (and Gorin out of a job), while those skills will really decide who wins and loses 20 years from now. In time, we might see Tata making a bid for Ford.

  138. Rob makes clear points here. Both of these brands need extra money, brand restructuring and cost discipline. If you can combine the cost discipline, management and value creation by Indian OEM with the best workmanship, you will go past toyotas and hondas in few years.

  139. After reading most of your opinions, I thought to pen down some of my thoughts
    1. FORD – Fun On the RoaD
    You should read the JD power ranking in recent years and gauge their quality against Toyota’s and Honda’s. Don’t just go by the herd mentatility and buy H and T’s. Better drive a Ford and decide what you want.

    2. Jaguar and Land Rover ownership: For the people who question the brand image of jaguar bcoz of it’s ownership(going to be) by TATA, I cannot stop myself in mentionining that you should better need some management diet.
    Once it is owned by TATA, J&LR(Jaguar and LAnd Rover) are going to have the same old engineers, designers, workers and most of all the culture of J&LR. Organization restructure and a better vision for the company are needed now for J&LR and TATA is well positioned in this global arena to provide both.
    TATQ has proved the world that it can provide better value and create a world class company’s(you should look at it’s balance sheets).

    In this globalised world, one cannot generalize and associate quality to a country. Not to be forgotten that the so called meaning of the word “Luxury” originated from Indian and Egyptian civilzation and not from wild west of america.
    J&LR are going to be a viable and strong luxury brands in the world and TATA’s ownership is going to play a big role in it. Try to refresh these statements 2 years from now. You will know by then, what I said was true.

  140. I don’t understand if Indian ownership of a brand has to do anything with change in quality. Is Jaguar the best quality today ? Is it best selling cars today ? Oh I am sorry, its not thats why Ford is selling them !! Now, how anyone can think that all of a sudden TATA or M&M will move all Jaguar plants to India. The fact is they still will be made in US and Europe with US and European workmanship. HELLOOOOOOOOOO

  141. “A more effective tack for Indian officials would be to accept that their country is just beginning to lose its decades-long reputation for dreadful quality – and to vow to show the world that it can do even better.”
    This thinking is totally wrong, as in the present world of takeovers – money is king and the shareholders should decide. So, the Indian companies like KKR and others put their money where their mouth is buy these companies – if they can and show the world how good business persons they are. Being nice and proven is good but it takes you a certain distance only but perceptions and decisiveness do matter.

  142. Modern day slavery, starvation, prostitution, filthy slums with no bathrooms or toilets or clean water or hydro, outrageous poverty, high crime rate, HIV, hepatitis, over population, pollution, cast system, social and economic inequality; these are what the world knows about India. India’s tiny corporate elite should act responsibly and attend their dreadful problems at home first. Never mind Jaguar, your people are dying from utter misery.

  143. Look who is talking about unions (hah)!! Didn’t the UAW drag the so called (were called) Big Three to the dumps?

  144. Perception and reality are not the same thing. However, the people who buy cars, and thus the people who sell them, must be concerned about perception. I have no doubt that whoever buys Jaguar will do a better job than the current owner, beset as it is with its own problems. However, I considered and rejected the purchase of a Jaguar recently. I think the dealers are right to be concerned over the next 3 to 5 years and that’s all `anyone is saying.

  145. Tata does make other automobiles. The quality also should be superior in my opinion than Ford (Fix or Repair Daily) or General Motors. Tata brand may not be popular in USA but is popular in Middle east, Africa & Asia. The garbage that some body wrote is the same I have faced in the last 27 years here. Where I saw people with no degrees being promoted & I with degree in eng being kept at the same low level.

  146. Filthy slums, incessant poverty, high crime, HIV, hapetitis, diseases, pollution, cast system, social and economic inequality; these are the attributes the world assigns to India. India’s tiny corporate elite should act responsibly and attend their dreadful problems at home first.

  147. It is all about quality as far as I am concerned. I deal with insurance and have been extensively involved in claims for goods imported from India. Indian goods in my experience have had more issues from an insurance claim standpoint involving poor quality than many other countries, including China. India is probably going to become the new Japan in terms of quality of their goods in the future, but as we all know with Japan, that process took decades. Buying Jaguar might be a bad move for all at this time – perhaps some sort of cooperation agreement to untap the vast market in India might be a better bet with eventual purchase if it works out.

  148. Incessant poverty, HIV, diseases, pollution, cast system, these are the attributes the world assigns to India. India’s tiny corporate elite should act responsibly and attend their dreadful problems at home first.

  149. Arup K – I think since you’re in India, you’re telling this. None of the products/goods sold in US are made in US/Europe/Japan. All are made in China. Come and see here

    Sameer Dalal – Well said

    San Antonio – I agree. But, the author mentioned that if TATA buy Jaguar, US people wont buy the car or rather they wont feel they’re buying a Luxury car. I dont think so. Thats’ why i gave the ex. of Lenova. After being sold by IBM, still doing well. Every Laptop manufactured in China only sold in US, only Brand name is important, not where itis made, that’s what people think of about Brands.

    jinishans, Hartford, US

  150. Americans need to accept that economically they are being beaten by the rising powers of Asia. The American workforce is lazy, overpaid and morally bankcrupt.

  151. Then – Gandhiji

    Now – TATA

    Anyhow, Indians are going to win….

    You just can not avoid India and Indians…

    mjjlal@sify.com

  152. Is it me or are most of the comments posted by the Indian surnamed individuals here posted from within the US?? Yes the US must face the globalization facts and understand that others can be and are as good in quality however, all of the new players to the globalization games must also realize that the gold standards for quality or luxury products did not originate in Russia or China or India…if they had this discussion probably would not be taking place…welcome to the world and the chase for the money!!!

  153. I completely agree with the Jag dealers association.I’m an Indian but even I have my share of doubts when I buy anything INDIAN . I would definitely prefer a good made in a developed country and I’m sure most of the Indians here in INDIA do the same.We do feel proud when we own a product which is made in Europe, US or may be Japan.

  154. The future success of Jaguar will be determined by its ability to penetrate the emerging markets of India and China. From that perspective the ownership of Jaguar by TATA can provide it with an competitive advantage. Any possible decline of sales in US under TATA’s ownership will be more than offset by its growth in the Asian market which TATA is well positioned to deliver. The concerns of the Jaguar’s American dealers are really quite immaterial….

  155. U.S hotels are not great in service either. I have several experiences or I must say worst experiences in US hotels. Problem is most of Americans hasn’t seen the world outside. Hotels in India and esecially the Taj Hotel is one of the best hotel in Asia/World.

    Another thing is , India recently taking over foreign based companies is a hard to digest for rest of the country. India as its image been known as developing country for rest of the world.
    Well, it might be a time for a change for everyone’s thoughts.

    thanks

  156. Many hilarious commenters here. I also know that there are many brilliant and qualified Indian managers. However it is truly sad that Indians now seem to be jumping on the “Racism” bandwagon of so many other cultures. It’s not about racism. When you speak of comepetitive product quality in the world marketplace we have always seen things improve as countries grow into that world market.

    When there were no “global enterprises” and free trade, American industrial might made the very best. Post WWII Japanese quality was laughable in most industries. But they learned and are now preferred and their superior products are now the preferred products. I don’t see any racism in those results. Are the Ford/GM/Chrysler folks anxious, you bet, as were the Zenith/Sylvania, etc, ad nauseum. Global competition made the difference, but the Japanese companies did not start at the top in terms of quality and product image. Now on the market is Korean products. Kia/Hyundai were also laughable not many years ago. They are not today. Chinese cars (Yaris) imported to the US under the Toyota marque appear to be both made well and selling decently. Doesn’t appear to be any racism there. So shut up, grow up and work hard, and you may catch up.

    But try getting your oen house in order 1st. Try stopping the thousands of murders of wives in India by their husbands or their husband’s families. Bride Burning – check Wikipedia. Then once you’ve become civilized we can talk again. Final note: If you are all against Imperial America (whatever that is) why do so many of you live here?

  157. Yes Theron. I do agree on your point. It’s mutually benifitial. Jaguar might be a Luxury brand. But, Luxury items does not need to be always costly. If Luxury items are priced less, it’ll reach more people and you make profit. Afterall Jaguar is sold only because they can’t make profit out of it, right. If TATA buys it, they can manufacture the same with less cost and the co becomes profitable. They get the technology. So, it’s mutually benefitial. After IBM sold their Laptop to Lenova, US buyers didnt turned it down, it’s doing fine still. Its’ of same kind only.

    Note; If i post again with same signature, my previous post is getting deleted.

    jinishans, Hartford, US

  158. Why is this tata guy after Jaguar and Land Rover ?. More than 80% of Indians can’t even get proper drinking water. Why does’nt he do something good for the Indian citizens with his money. Just go outside of Bangalore or Delhi and see the filthy and dung filled living conditions for yourself. Instead of throwing money at bankrupt pension funds and cash strapped American companies, why can’t people like TATA do something for poor Indians.

  159. Why do you guys all have your undies in such a bunch? The concern of the dealer’s network is typical. He’s not giving his poinion about India’s quality but rather his fear about his customer’s perception (undoubtedly unfounded as it may be) of Indian quality. People of all countries have poorly conceived expectations about a lot of things. In the last couple decades we’ve seen perceptions of Japanaese quality change from crap to gold-standard.

    Anyway, I think an Indian buyer for Jag/Rover makes sense. They’ve got the money and can use a globally recognized luxury brand and I bet it means more in India than the US.

  160. LN Mittal is also an Indian, bought Arcelor and Arcelor Mittal is doing well after the merger. European people accepted it. Corus was bought by Tata and accepted by Europe. Vodaphone bought India’s leading Telecom provider (though major share belongs to Malaysian co) Hutch and Vodaphone was accepted by Indians. So, rest of the world are in-sync in M & A. Only US politicians has reservations. When Chinese co. wanted to buy Level 3 (i think), there was a issue. When DPA (Dubai Port Autority) wanted to buy US ports, there was an issue. When Indian co. TATA / M&M wanted to buy Jaguar, there’s an issue. So, US only wanted to speak about Globalization, dont want their Co’s tobe taken over by Other countries. Uncle Sam, common, you only taught us Globalization. Dont shy away from it. You’ll be lost otherwise in the race. Come and takeover Infosys & AirTel if you can. But, dont try to stop Chinese/Indian takeovers. India is 3rd in Space and will be No. 1 in Military along with Russian Partnership. China is already competing with US in all fronts. So, Asia is on the Rising. Get along with them, otherwise, you’ll loose the race.

    One more point i missed. US people dont like Ford in first case. Only Japanese made Cars are famous in US itself. So, dont talk about Ford’s quality or US people dont like to own Indian Co. made car. US people are ready, only politicians / co’s dont want

  161. One more point i missed. US people dont like Ford in first case. Only Japanese made Cars are famous in US itself. So, dont talk about Ford’s quality or US people dont like to own Indian Co. made car. US people are ready, only politicians / co’s dont want

  162. John,

    Your baseless claims, show that even American writing has deteriorated to such an extent that it needs to be outsourced.

    For God’s sake, just check which company owns Jaguar right now. Do I need to say more🙂

  163. How does Gorin forget that almost every other software engineer working in US is an Indian? How can an American tell such a thing, when every other thing in US is Made in China and India.. I think all of us should take a serious note of this. Better go for a Japanese car, instead of an American car… Heck with you Gorin and your JAG… Jai Hind…

  164. Perhaps the writer and Ken Gorin or Paul do not understand that Tatas cater to a different market in India where price takes a precedence over features and luxury. But this surely does not mean that people do not get quality or value for money. Infact past 60 years Tatas have been epitome of quality.

  165. a more appropriate argument would be as to how TATA would maintain the local identity of “brand” and its “perception” inspite of being foreign owned. this is a problem facing most multinational companies in the world as they want to isolate their business interests with the political relationship the countries as, its probably the same question which Sony faces in China as to how does Sony make itself feel “Chinese” in China while still being a japanese owned company and given the hostilities between the two nations.

    I find this argument even more puzzling because apparently people in US are willing to sell anything to Chinese and Middle East investors who probably have never been in most businesses they own ever, at least TATA’s have been making automobiles.

  166. US imperialists should their old mind and perceptions about India and try experiencing all of India before commenting.

  167. I believe Ford has already decreased the Goodwill of Jaguars and RangeRovers – Just compare the 2 companies’s consumer ratings, before and after they were initially bought by Ford.

    Yes India can learn a lot from unprofitable companies such as Ford, GM and Chrysler. (Idiots!)

  168. Ford has often been the butt of jokes, such as it being an acronym for Found On Road Dead or Fix Or Repair Daily. If Ford is such a great company with high standards, then why are Japanese and German cars outselling Ford and other American cars year after year? Compared to Ford, Jaguar can definitely do 100% better with TATA.

    Gorin’s comment that the American public won’t accept a luxury-car such as Jaguar “out of India” is completey racist. Gorin needs to wake up and realize that a large part of the professional work-force here in U.S (in the IT industy, health-services industry, etc) as well as many top-level executives running multi-national organizations all over the world have come “out of India”.

    Based on personal experience, I can tell you that Taj Hotels (a part of Indian Hotels) are some of the best in the world. In quality and service, they far surpass comparable hotels (like Hilton, Sheraton, Westin, etc) here in the U.S. Paul White’s comment that any association with Indian Hotels would result in a reduction of value of their brands is outrageous and demands an immediate apology.

  169. John Eliott’s shallow article leaves a lot to be desired and not consistent with quality of fortune articles.

    John implicitly agrees with Ken Gorian’s position, which is amazing given Tata’s (or even Mahindra’s) track record of success and profitability. Brand image and perception is definitely important to a luxary carmaker, however Ford’s decade long leadership has only hurt the brand. Ken Gorian’s dealers are neither the best in class for customer service nor has been able to improve Jaguar’s image

    John has the ridicules assumption that ‘Think Equity partner’ may be better for brand image. How did he come by that assumption may be the clue to John Elliott actual twisted thought process.

  170. This is a message to East Indians bidding on Jaguar: even by eyeing the brand you have threatened a brand the world has come to cherish. You should know your place and be reminded of it. There is ample resentment building in the corporate and private sector against East Indians. If you were to own Jaguar, the brand would effectively be sabotaged and suffer even further. Your best course of action: concentrate on cheap cars and Bollywood movies. You represent poor quality; the global public does not trust East Indian goods.

  171. There is nothing racist about Ken Gorin’s comments. Jaguar is a luxury car, or at least is considered to be one, which does not change much. And in the luxury world, it is about perception, about the image. Not necessarily about the value and not always about the current quality. The historical quality is a different story. It happened to be this way that India has not had a reputation as a country making luxury cars. And that’s what is going to hurt Jag’s image. By the way, a Jag is not much of a reputation quality wise either. But again, image is what rules luxury world.

    And the dealers are rightfully concerned. The product that they are selling is image based, and it is about to loose most of its value.

    On the side note, I don’t see anything racist even in the wording of Ken Gorin. Not a reference to Indians, their race, the culture. I think the people who have commented bellow are overly sensitive.

  172. LN Mittal is also an Indian, bought Arcelor and Arcelor Mittal is doing well after the merger. European people accepted it. Corus was bought by Tata and accepted by Europe. Vodaphone bought India’s leading Telecom provider (though major share belongs to Malaysian co) Hutch and Vodaphone was accepted by Indians. So, rest of the world are in-sync in M & A. Only US politicians has reservations. When Chinese co. wanted to buy Level 3 (i think), there was a issue. When DPA (Dubai Port Autority) wanted to buy US ports, there was an issue. When Indian co. TATA / M&M wanted to buy Jaguar, there’s an issue. So, US only wanted to speak about Globalization, dont want their Co’s tobe taken over by Other countries. Uncle Sam, common, you only taught us Globalization. Dont shy away from it. You’ll be lost otherwise in the race. Come and takeover Infosys & AirTel if you can. But, dont try to stop Chinese/Indian takeovers. India is 3rd in Space and will be No. 1 in Military along with Russian Partnership. China is already competing with US in all fronts. So, Asia is on the Rising. Get along with them, otherwise, you’ll loose the race

  173. When Jamsetji Tata, its founder, proposed making steel for the British-run Indian railways in 1907, Sir Frederick Upcott, a colonial administrator, scoffed. “Do you mean to say that Tatas propose to make steel rails to British specifications?” he asked. “I will undertake to eat every pound of steel rail they succeed in making.”

    A century later, the Tatas paid £6.7bn ($13.7bn, €9.4bn) to buy Corus, the successor to British Steel.

  174. Dear Sir,

    Even after living with dreadful qualities of even luxury cars from Detroit (Cadillac, for example) for so many years, it’s really a miopic thinking on the part of the author.

    The US has still much to learn from the rest of the world without expounding an ostrich like attitude by persons like Ken. Just look at the declining reputations of the US made brand in the world. We better be open minded to learn even from India.

    B. Modi

  175. Gorin and White will eventually have to eat their words…

    And the author is also cut from the same cloth as Gorin and White.

    But, who cares – they can take their attitude and jump in the Atlantic…

  176. This article seems to be written to Justify the letters written by misinformed US managers.

    It would have been appropriate that Orient Express be owned by a company from Orient and Orient is not just China. Or may be the purpose of the White’s comment was to provoke a takeover🙂

    Enough comments have already been made on Jaguar side of the issue.

    Actually the author of this article should apologize for his suggested “more effective track” in the last paragraph.

    Would US accept a similar statement by an official from another country e.g. about quality of its cars?

    My suggestion to you is to move away from the imperialistic views and instead of advising Indian politicians to ‘accept’, learn to live in a ‘flat’ world.

  177. Reading a lot of comments makes one believe that anything and everything can be brushed under the carpet by shouting racism. If you want to compare a Tata hotel compare it to a five star here in US why compare it to cheap hotels becuse Tata’s definitely charge a lot of money and for what they charge they dont provide the service. The bad quality of Tatas is also visible in their Voltas brand electronic items (even in India they are not rated very high), the Tata Teleservices is a bad telecom service provider. TCS has a very bad reputition with its employees and customers. Except for the Tata Power which supplies energy to Bombay all their companies dont measure up.

  178. As an engineer, I have to say there is little difference in the engineering competencies required to make a cheap car vs. those required to make a luxury car. The difference is mostly made by design by styling and for that Tata already uses European design houses.

    Further, the presumption that a luxury model somehow equals quality is rather dubious. For many years now Consumer Reports has ranked Mercedes Benz models amongst the most unreliable cars you can buy.

  179. Sounds like an article that was written about Japan’s automobile industry 30 years ago. Very opinionated and not factual. I worked with Ford, GM and Chrysler for 12 years. Tata, for that matter anyone, can do better with these brands. Need to question the operating model, not the “Indian Quality”!

  180. An East Indian Jaguar?! that is an oxymoron. We are the buyers of luxury cars such as Aston Martin, Bentley and occasionally Jaguar. If Indians acquired Jaguar, we would treat the car as we treat the rest of Indians goods, GARBAGE. This has to do with the Indian image problem and not any thing else the Indian propaganda machine is revving it up to be. Face it my East Indian neighbors, you have an image problems which will take decades if not a century to mitigate. Look at your country, your people, your society.

  181. Tatas dont need a company like Ford. Dont be jealous over Tatas success.

  182. It appears as though Raj is a little upset about the American Dream. I am an American fortunate enough to have traveled around the world. Although America has its problems, there is no other country like it in terms of quality of life and education. With regard to business, it is hard to compete on a global scale with so many desperate people willing to work for a $1 or $2 per day…including children. Let’s face it, there is no such thing as a level playing field in business.

  183. Here is the thing India and China are coming. They like Japan will find a niche and grow that niche. When Lexus entered the now luxury market BMW and MB did not worry. Now having taken a sizable chunk away from them BMW has gone on record as saying they worry more about MB and Lexus. Lexus use to be considered a “near luxury brand” but now mentioned in the same breath as the Greman’s. I don’t see GM or Ford here.

    Its a matter of time. But for a company to build the brand is hard. I believe a company can buy a brand and make better or worse. Tata is also seeking assistance from Fiat which owns Ferrari and has mounted its own turnaround plan. This would lead me to think that Tata knows it strength and is going to others for assistance.

    Under Ford and Jacque Nasser (now with One Equity Partners) Jag and Land Rover have suffered. Do we remember the X Type the S Type? The current Jag XK and XF are just new models coming to market under new designs that took 5 years to develop. Ford bought Land Rover from BMW along with the designs. Ford put no money into improving the brand. They did keep if from going under. Quality has not improve and Ford turned around and took free maintenance away.

    I don’t think Tata could do worse if they keep true to the brand. They are not buying a car company they are buying a brand. Will part from other Tata’s brand come into Jag and Land Rover sure but you hope Jag and Land Rover Management will make sure its of quality and what Jag needs. Not just a bunch of yes men/women. Plus I think Jag and Land Rover are worth more to Tata then the other way around. They might lift Tata’s image of builder of cheap in expensive cars.

  184. 1. The Taj chain in India and many other hotels in Asia are faaaaar better (no comparison) to the Marriots, Hiltons, Doubletree hotels in the US. This article has been poorly researched passing opinions of a few as facts.

    2. America, Americans and American businesses need to come to grips on something very fundamental. Your dollar, your schools, your economy is not the vanguard for the world anymore. There are other rising powers – China, India, Russia and others who are now world economic powers in their own right.

    3. Some of TATAs vehicles like the TATA Sumo are much much better in quality than the Fords we have in this country. No wonder US cars never really made it on the International stage. Why? Simple – THEY SUCK.

    World economic power is now truly shared among many countries. If the author and the people they have interviewed can’t take it – TOO BAD — DEAL WITH IT – SEE DR.PHIL FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT.

  185. I am an Indian citizen who used to work for Tata Consultancy Services, the TATA’s software arm and I can vouch for one thing that although all Indian companies are cheap TATA’s are down and out DIRTY. They lie to their employees to their customers and to US government and all this jjust to make single individual rich (Ratan Tata who holds 80-90% stake in the company). The group does not have any ethics and it underpays and ill treats its employees like no other. The nepotism is so blatant that the CEO (S.Ramadorai)is promoting his own nephew (N. handra) for CEO’s post. Even CFO etc are his Tam buddies. Its a negative and regressive culture. It will be a sad day when luxry American brands have to give up all the ethics they stood for and be part of dirty muck and sh*t that Tata’s represent.

  186. US cannot afford ‘PROTECTIONISM’ in this GLOBAL ECONOMY. If this is the attitude shown towards Indian Companies (Be it Tatas or Ambanis or Infosys), then US Companies are also not welcome for takeover of companies in other Countries like India. If this happens, then US sponsored Globalisation Policy will Freeze. We cannot have double standards when it comes to GLOBALISATION.

  187. If a toilet quality company like Ford can run Jaguar then Tata can give much more than that. Its racial, no other word can explain this.

    You never even drove TATA vehicle how can you even comment about their quality. Taj hotels are 1000 times better than shitty Hiltons and third cheapo american hotels. And my comments are based on my personal experience in US and with US cars.

    You are moron, travel outside US first and get out of US dream of supremacy.

    Jai Hind…

  188. The comment from Ken Gorin is very racist, am of the belief that he is still in the imperialistic mood. He needs to understand that the world is competitive and it is survival of the fittest. I like to remind Ken that Jaguar and Land rover Union management has already voiced their wish to go under Tata management. What else is needed more than this. The basic problem with the mindset here is that Ken is not ready to agree India is becoming as competitive as a developed nation.

  189. Learn to draft better letter’s OE
    The author seems to justify the letter from OE to Tata. It is like trying to screen every individual or organization’s character trying to buy shares of OE. I am sure this kind of badly drafted/worded letter to any American/European organization trying to take over OE would have ended in a lawsuit.

  190. Yes, Indian companies have much to learn about quality from companies such as Microsoft, Ford, GM and Chrysler.

  191. The mind set of American Jaguar Car Delealer Chairman has to be changed. He forgets that India also import many proudcts from USA. Though many American Cars does not have good reputation compare to Japanese and Eurpoean, they are still being sold in INDIA! Who can you justifiy this? If a Indian Can run Pepsi and Cit Bank, where is the question of talents? This is an Arrognat Comment!

  192. US Jag dealers still seem to be living in a different world, they show discrimination even towards the buyers who go to buy the Jag,I myself faced this in Maryland, I bought Benz instead, it’s no wonder they are not able to digest the news that TATA might win the bid for Jag and LR. It’s time to wake up to the new world.

  193. This is a clear example of what is called AMERICAN IMPEARILISM.

  194. I disagree with the last paragraph. The author appears to suggest that the Indians should now do their time and will gradually be accepted into the “club”.

    My take is that he who hesitates is lost and India should be more aggressive in obtaining its place in the world order

  195. I think American business executives are having a hard time adjusting to a level playing field.

    What is common sense talk is considered by US executives as bluster – if you cannot face reality, then get used to being bought out by foreign entities – be it Dubai based middle eastern families or professionally managed Indian corporates.

    It does prick the pride, but the real competition is showing up now and American managements cant face up to the high quality managers and professionals from overseas.

  196. Perhaps Indian ownership of Jag and Landrover would be a good thing? Ford has not brought any “quality” to the brands as design and quality has suffered under it’s ownership. Indians can’t do any worse than Ford did🙂

  197. Your double standard is truly appalling. Are you trying to tell Indian firms that theirs is to just accept being second-class foreign investors? You should know better than to pick and choose your capital flows. Why don’t you question One Equity Partners’ ability to manage Jaguar? However subtly implied, it remains unclear why I should consider them better prospective owners.

    And speaking of jingoism and bluster – what about Gorin and his pathetic, unsolicited opinion? Instead, he should ask himself how he is part of the problem instead of opining at a level beyond his pay scale. Bill Ford should have him apologize to Tata and then agree that the last 20 years at Jaguar have set the bar high for managerial incompetence.

  198. I’m an Indian currently staying in the US. I’ve stayed in hotels in US, europe and India. I’ve found the quality of service and the rooms to be better than most comparable hotels here. It would help if the writer based his judgement on actual facts or his experience rather than on hearsay/perceptions or the experience of other Taj guests.


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