Mustafa: Let's look at who owns who and how this can be helpful to the customer, basically you and I.
Jude: Recently, there was a story of
Mustafa: What happened was that at that time the VW share price was so low, so
Jude: It is a funny story of a hunter being hunted and how people are now in court over not properly advising
Mustafa: The investors are now suing the management of
Jude: But it helps in a way. In that marriage Chrysler benefited most from the German technology that was applied in Jeeps and other related products at the time. Modern Chryslers have
Mustafa: Land Rover actually not Range Rover.
Jude: The marriage made a complete turn for Land Rover and some people say
Paul: When BMW bought Land Rover, at that time they only had saloon vehicles. They didn't have SUVs. Among other factors, they looked forward to sharing the SUV technology of Land Rover. Out of that marriage, we got the first product-the Bafudde Range Rover code named P38. It came with a
Mustafa: I think that is a very interesting example of platforms.
Jude: This means that the two do share parts.
Paul: Yes, they share parts. The interconnection was that close. However, the unfortunate bit was that at that time,
Mustafa: But you know one interesting thing now is that Tata, which bought Land Rover has built this "firewall" and their culture around Jaguar and Land Rover. They have turned around the company and the cars that are coming out today are good. The current Range Rover has received rave reviews, many people are saying nice things about it. The Jaguars that are coming out now, the XJ and XF are much better.
Jude: So should we say that it is an issue of management and the Indians are doing it better than the British? Although I know they still have some British people. They cannot give you everything at 100 per cent without them having a hand in it.
Mustafa: I think that is why I mentioned firewall. If you try to merge them you will have problems of culture among others. For Tata to own Jaguar and Land Rover it is basically an issue in the books but the British remain in the background.
Jude: It is like the Swedish with
Mustafa: I think it is a German problem-the idea of
Jude: I know, but one thing that benefits these mergers is that it becomes cost effective for these companies. Looking back at the
Jude: Some Audi A4s can share side mirrors with the VW Golf Mk4.
Paul: Actually someone joked about car mergers that their cars come out of the same building through different doors with different car badges.
Jude: There is this joke I usually see in some South African auto magazines. When they are reviewing an Audi A3, they usually say it is a VW Golf with a different skin or an expensive Golf.
Mustafa: To me that does not make much difference. Transmission and engine technology fundamentally do not change much. What gives soul to an
Paul: I think Mustafa, you are touching a very important point-brand loyalty. For a long time some people have not known that Ford and
Jude: Actually, experts say that
Paul: Like VW will keep
Mustafa: There are some specific things that are unique. For instance, if you look at cars in the same segment from the same group, you mentioned the Mazda Tribute and Ford Escape. They are the same but different. What makes them different? Styling is different.
Paul: The fundamentals are the same. When people buy a new car, they don't buy for the basic functions but for ego, emotions, status. If someone bought an
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