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Latest nasty move by Ford is to threaten to close Land Rover's only production plant in the UK. (All Land Rovers are made in Solihull).

What Ford really want is the name, so they can stick it on their awful Explorer wagons.

I've bought my 10th Land Rover, I managed to get one of only six special wagons made. I bought it just as Ford took over from BMW, figuring that once the yanks got hold of Land Rover, that would be the end of the marque. Subtlety, sophistication and style don't exist in the US. Looks like I was right, check out the new Disco 3, looks like a Ford pickup truck. :mad:

This will be my last Land Rover, after 25 years of owning them and many millions of miles of driving in nine countries. I'm keeping it, of course, but I'll never buy another one.
 

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Design features

Q: How many designers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, but is it realy a light bulb?

I would like to see nothing more than a nice design feature (the back doors on the disco 3) scaped at design time. It may look interesting to the north shore Sydney soccer mums types, who are new to Land rover but give me a break if all land rovers start looking like US suv's then it won't be long before the defender looks like the H2.

Adam
 

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Just The Facts, Ma'am

Seems you've gotten them slightly skewed. Ford did not threten to close any plants, but to cease their funding if the company failed to bring customer satisfaction up from the bottom rung of the ladder. The US is their largest potential market, but while JD Powers only rates based upon domestic polling, similar poles exist wordlwide. Why would any ivester continue funding when the largest markets are dissatisfied? Maybe a boot where the sun don't shine is what it needs to divest labor of their "not invented here" attitude.
FWIW, Mate, Ford has had nothing to do (As in ZIP, ZERO, NADA) with designs of any LR product. However, and despite your apparant bias against US design and engineering, maybe LR should have asked for some assistance.
The Explorer has consistantly outsold other SUVs, and ranks highest for out-of-the-box quality. While I admit to shuddering at the first pics of the Discovery Series 3 (LR3), in the flesh, it is not nearly so, how shall I say, weird. The rear door splits ala Rnagies, as opposed to swinging ( a design that only benefitted RHD countries) and the vehicle can actually be driven while it's open. Whatever it looks like, how anone could suggest it looks like an F series pickup, or some Hummer thingy, is beyond me.
I, too, have been driving LR products, some thirty years now, but never considered one out of necessity, only the fun they all impart.
 

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trevor said:
Subtlety, sophistication and style don't exist in the US.
If the current production staff in Solihull can't translate the "subtlety, sophistication and style" of the Land Rover designs into a reliable and desirable product for every market it has to compete in, they can't expect Ford to continue footing the bill for tradition and history.

If memory serves, there's a reason that the British automotive industry was almost dead prior to foreign acquisition of nearly every marque: Quality. I'll freely admit that Jaguar, Land Rover, Austin, MG, Aston Martin, etc. have produced some of the most stylish and sophisticated autos of the last fifty years. But while the rest of the industialized world was upping the ante on quality and reliabilty to get ahead of the competition, the UK was continuing to refine the style and subtlety of their vehicles.

Don't get me wrong, I'd hate to see Ford close the plant in Soluhill. But if the workers can't meet the production and quality goals agreed to by their union, Ford might need to shake things up a bit more.
 

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Just a quick one

posted by TerryS: The Explorer has consistantly outsold other SUVs, and ranks highest for out-of-the-box quality.

published June 17, 2001

Attention shifts from Firestone to Ford Explorer
Many experts now say the rollover propensity of the SUV is more to blame for fatal accidents than faulty tires.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Robert Harold Miller was traveling north on Interstate 75 in Lee County on March 29 when a rear tire ripped apart. His 1996 sport utility vehicle spun out of control at 70 mph before resting on its side.

Miller, 57, of Fort Myers was killed instantly.

The vehicle was a Ford Explorer. But the tires were not Firestone.

That accident, involving a Cooper tire, is one of the many that have come to light in recent weeks in which an Explorer flips after a tire -- not made by Firestone -- falls apart or after a driver swerves to avoid something in the road.

The crashes, and the most recent data that has just been compiled and examined by Firestone and by the Safety Forum, a consumer safety group, have shifted much of the blame for deadly rollovers across the nation from Bridgestone/Firestone to Ford Motor Co. and the Explorer, the world's best-selling sport utility vehicle.

Firestone, of course, has an ax to grind. The tiremaker has taken the majority of the blame in this crisis. But now, the company is fighting back, doing its own research to try to shift responsibility to Ford.

It was Firestone, for example, that broke off its 100-year-old relationship with Ford last month just before Ford told owners of its light trucks and SUVs equipped with Firestone tires to take their vehicles back to dealerships for replacement tires.

Industry experts such as Safety Forum, Ralph Nader's Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety say that Ford is even more responsible than the tiremaker for the problem that the government estimates led to 174 deaths nationwide. They want the company to be punished, and they want the vehicle to be taken off the road.

"At its core the Ford-Firestone tragedy was largely the responsibility of Ford Motor Co.," said Joan Claybrook, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. Claybrook headed the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration during the Carter administration

1 st Feb 2002


BARSTOW, Calif. -- Ford Motor Co.'s Explorer design on Thursday was found defective for the first time by a jury, which may signal new danger for Ford in other Explorer rollover lawsuits.
The automaker has defended itself in court saying Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. tires, which were recalled last year, were to blame for accidents.
"Now the flood gates may be open," said Garo Mardirossian, the lawyer who represented the family who sued over injuries suffered when its sport-utility vehicle rolled.
"A jury for the first time in the Explorer's history found the vehicle to have a defect in its high propensity to roll over. The real story is it's not the tires."
The Barstow Superior Court jury voted 10-2 that the 1994 Explorer was defective due to a high center of gravity and faulty suspension, Mardirossian said. Barstow is in the Mojave desert east of Los Angeles.
Ford isn't liable for damages because the jury also found that a dealership negligently failed to fix a vibration that caused the truck to veer into a freeway barrier. The dealership faces the damages phase of the trial beginning Tuesday.
The Gozukaras were driving to Las Vegas in 1997 when their Explorer allegedly began to shake violently and careened out of control, hitting a concrete barrier and then rolling over four times. Catherine Gozukara, 40, is a paraplegic and lost her unborn child. Her 41-year-old husband, Agop, broke several bones in his legs and struggles to walk.
Ford's attorney in the Barstow trial, Daniel Rodman, couldn't be reached for comment. Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes offered condolences over the Gozukara's injuries and said the company would have no other comment tonight.
The Barstow case doesn't involve allegations that a Firestone tire failed. In two other Ford rollover cases that likewise didn't allege tire failures, juries in Arizona and Texas found the company wasn't responsible for deaths and injuries.
Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford has settled about 200 lawsuits with plaintiffs suing for serious injury and wrongful death involving tire-tread separations. In January 2000, Ford paid $30 million to settle with a quadriplegic woman the day her rollover-tread failure trial was to begin in Texas.
Ford documents show that one of its engineers, assigned to examine fatal rollovers in Venezuela, concluded the Explorer's shock absorber system was 40 percent to blame for wrecks in that country. Plaintiffs submitted those company documents in a class- action lawsuits against Ford and Firestone.


Great out of the box quality..


June 15 2004
Ford lawyer makes Explorer apology
By Eric Mayne and Brett Clanton / The Detroit News



A record $368.6 million jury verdict earlier this month against Ford Motor Co. in San Diego ended the automaker’s win streak defending the Ford Explorer’s design and safety, but also may have opened the door for more lawsuits.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers and legal experts are abuzz over closing arguments by a Ford lawyer during the punitive stage of the trial. The statements seemed to fly in the face of Ford’s fierce defense of the best-selling SUV’s safety to Congress, federal regulators and in nationwide TV commercials.

“It’s impossible not to be angry at Ford Motor Company for what decisions that in marketing and selling this Ford Explorer it knowingly put a defective product out on the market and caused the family tragedy that you see before you now,” Ford lawyer Anthony Sonnett told a jury that had already awarded $122.6 million in compensatory damages to a woman who was paralyzed in a rollover crash.

Ford contends Sonnett was not representing the automaker’s opinion.

He was merely acknowledging the jurors’ earlier conclusion that the Explorer had safety issues and Ford should have taken corrective action.

But Sonnett went on to tell jurors: “We are sorry that we let you down. The engineers are sorry that they let the rest of the company down. There is nothing else I can really say to you at this point. I understand a feeling that perhaps it’s too little too late, or it rings hollow, or (Ford Chairman and CEO) William C. Ford (Jr.) is not here to say it himself. But I wouldn’t feel right if I ended this without saying that indeed we are sorry.”

After Sonnett’s closing, the jurors socked Ford with an additional $246 million in punitive damages, concluding Ford had acted with fraud or malice in its design and marketing of the Explorer.

Punitive damages are assessed as a penalty against defendants. Compensatory damages are awarded to victims and paid by defendants.
 

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Consider:

After Ford bought Jag, they fired many of the old-timers who had worked the production lines for years in order to bring in "new blood" to revamp the facility. They immediately found (among MANY other problems) that the new workers couldn't produce a straight crankshaft, so they rehired a few of the old workers back to explain why. They were told that the machines were worn, so you had to lean against them just right to keep them in line. :eek: So Ford replaced the worn-out machines & shipped over a testing machine to check the quality of the new cranks. After several more weeks of low-quality cranks coming out, they toured the facility & pulled several "tested" cranks off the assembly line and carried them back to the new tester. When they asked the workers to demonstrate how the cranks passed the test, they found that the power cable to the machine was NOT connected and wouldn't even reach to be connected.

It's that kind of attitude that has caused these UK brands to falter to the point that they HAVE to sell themselves to Ford, and why they have NO reason to complain if Ford chooses to sell them or close them.
 

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Power steering

So is there a similar reason as to why the power steering always leeks on jag?
 

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Far be it from me to Knock or promote the Ford Explorer, but to my knowledge it has not been a problem in the UK, however it is not that popular over here anyway. Any offroad vehicle will suffer seriouse handeling problems when a tyre blows-out at speed due to it's high CoG, indeed the classic Range Rover suffered at the hands of the Times newspaper some years ago and was branded a death trap because of numerouse roll-over incidents. The point is that Land Rover has sat back on it's oversized ass for too long, it is living on it's past reputation and old adage of evolution not revolution. By all means carry on with the simple Defender style vehicles (lets get rid of the electronics though), but the RR and Disco must compete with other similar cars if LR are to survive. I have owned LR products for 35 years and apart from they're offroad ability have found many shortcomings which have never been addressed by the makers, if Ford wish to drag LR into the 21'st century then good luck to them. Better to move it than lose it. :complain:
 

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My Compliments To 130CC

You must be an Archivist, or posses an uncanny sence of recall. The Lenghtly diatribe in the press regarding the Explorer vs Firestone really never served much to deffinitively prove either were to blame. What did come from it was an near bankrupting recall of a tire which proved to have a severe manufacturing flaw. Testing by the NHTS and Institute For Highway safety found a nearly identical propensity for tire failure on vehicles other than Explorers, as well as a disturbing propensity for All SUVs to rollover, due to their inherent high CG. You must be aware of the much more recent press regarding SUVs, not just the three year old stuff.
What I was initially responding to was Trevors comment about FORD "closing" LR plants when, in actual fact, they did not ever say they would close anything, but to 'no longer fund' them, ( A decision that BMW had also made prior to Ford picking them up. One could only guess where LR would be, had Ford not done so. Had Ford simply wanted to aquire the name, it would have been disasterous, as quality, at the time they acquired them was far worse than it is now.
While I agree with both 130CC and Trevor about Defenders, and their simplicity being an attribute we LR people would lve to see continued, While the Defender embodies all the charisma and ruggedness we all associate with the name Land Rover, It still embodies all the quirks, weaknesses, and failings of the series trucks, noise, lack of comfort, leaks and rust to mention a few. I love my 110 for all the character it has, though I've probably spent enough on it, keeping it up, as only a hobbyist would, to buy a fourth Explorer. I had three, simply because they were comfortable, capable in extreme winters, as we get in New England, and they simply never broke. I never once said to myself "Gee, what a fun car", but now that I'm retired, don't depend on the reliability, and can afford to divulge myself in fun, forgoing reliability. I can always resort to my FORD F-250 when LR reliability ( all too frequently) vacations. We happen to be a three Land Rover family (six if you count the unregistered projects)
Land Rover needs to have reapeat customers if it is to survive in the US, and frankly, we don't care who gets LR into a 21st century manufacturing mentality
Oh, yeah, Jags. My mother drove them for 25 years. She always had the Taurus (Ford) to depend on when he XJ was in the shop. They sure don't build them like they uded to (before Premier Auto Group) In fact, now sell 5 times the numbers they used to. I guess we can blame Ford for that too.
 

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Don't get me wrong

Don't get me wrong I have nothing against Ford I just love my Land Rover more, It's better to have a pasion with a Land Rover than say a Kia. I just really dislike those back doors and I know that there those who will like them, and thats their opinion to have. Also if you do a search on any car looking for key points on the web you can find lots of things out.
 

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Rear Door Split

130CC said:
Don't get me wrong I have nothing against Ford I just love my Land Rover more, It's better to have a pasion with a Land Rover than say a Kia. I just really dislike those back doors and I know that there those who will like them, and thats their opinion to have. Also if you do a search on any car looking for key points on the web you can find lots of things out.
I have to agree, the irregular split line makes little sence. The RR Classics have a logical, straight split, You can drive with the window up or down, sit on the tailgate, and drive with it, also, down. Even my wifes Freaklander has a straight, horizontal split.What bothers me most about side swinging rear doors, ala Disco, and Defender SW is that it swings from the right, not left. In keep to the right countys, where we park on the right side, it is just not convenoient. How big a deal would it be to hindge the door on the left side for the rest of the world. The Def doors still appear to be handmade, though I understand the newer version is alot better construction.
Searching the web for car info is alot like making love with mittens on. Nothing beats the hands-on experience.
 

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TerryS said:
What bothers me most about side swinging rear doors, ala Disco, and Defender SW is that it swings from the right, not left. In keep to the right countys, where we park on the right side, it is just not convenoient. How big a deal would it be to hindge the door on the left side for the rest of the world.
Hey Terry - or is that Henry...?

You Americans just don't get it do you?..Just because you adopted Napoleons idea or driving on the left doesn't make you right(er). I suppose it was sheer bloody-mindedness over the war of independence that saw you keeping it. (didn't want to be the same as the British i suppose).

If you have so many problems with LR, I have two questions for you.

1)What are you doing haunting a LR site
2)Why don't you just go and buy a US built offroader that has the capability and Style of a LR

Finding it tricky to find one I suppose? Oh there's always the ML Merc!

If you were not aware previously, US made vehicles have long been the laughing stock of the world automotive industry. Your productivity, quality and design have been a byword for mediocracy.

Whilst LR do not have the best record in the build quality stakes, the record of having more than 70% of the vehicles they have produced still in working order does take some beating.

LR produces vehicles with soul. Unfortunately this concept is lost on Ford's bean counters as they sold theirs a long time ago
 

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SydneyViking said:
If you were not aware previously, US made vehicles have long been the laughing stock of the world automotive industry. Your productivity, quality and design have been a byword for mediocracy.
And I suppose the Australian automobile industry is the pinnacle of design and performance? The only Australian carmaker that I can name off the top of my head is Holden, and I believe that they are owned by General Motors.

If shoddy build quality, unreliable performance and sub-par components are what it takes to give a car "soul" I would agree that the English marques were neck and neck with Alfa Romeo and Fiat in the production of soulful cars. But today cars are expected to be safe, dependable, and priced competitively. If a carmaker can't compete, they go on the block to the highest bidder or they go under.

Face facts: If it weren't for the money that Ford has plowed into Jaguar, Aston Martin and Land Rover all of them would have gone tits up a long time ago. If Volkswagen hadn't acquired Bentley, they would have died. Rolls Royce owes it's continued existence to BMW. The "British" auto industry would have ceased to exist if it weren't for foreign auto makers coming in and modernizing the whole apparatus.

Having said all of that, I love Land Rovers and wouldn't trade my Discovery in on anything other than another Rover. :)
 

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SydneyViking said:
US made vehicles have long been the laughing stock of the world automotive industry.
The WORLD automotive industry??? :lol: You wanna guess what percent of the WORLD automotive industry IS US-made vehicles? :confused I don't have a number, but I'd be willing to bet my Gross National Product that it's more than 75%! And where do you think that industry came from? British technology, innovation, & creativity? :rolleyes: WRONG!!! The automobile came from Germany (Karl Benz) :drive: and the only reason it could be produced at a reasonable cost was because Henry Ford invented chromolly steel and the production line (maybe you've heard of them). :cool: And ALL modern design (automotive & otherwise) is based on "Finite Element Analysis"; an analytical design technique created by...


Anyone?



Anyone?



Bueller?


:bgreen:
...Ford Motor Company, USA.
Right - those bloody Yanks! Wanna guess where ABS brakes, EFI, GPS, and the microcomputers to control them ALL came from? Right again - the only country that could build a car that drove on the Moon. :wave: How far have Rovers gone? :eek:

So what exactly are you laughing at? :buttrock: :drink1:
 

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Im gonna upset all of you.

Right here we go!!!

Yankee motors :- Big,heavy,thirsty,ugly(except some 70's muscle),characterless.

British motors:poorly built,rot like hell,always breaking down.

Aussie motors:-A combination of both of the above

We all build crap,in this world of accountants and idiots nothing is built properly these days its all done to save 10 quid here 20p there etc.

Rolls royce world renown car builder.cost a fortune but build quality suffering at the hand of accountants.

We can argue all day but who are we defending?

Is it our Nations pride? NO!
Is it our skilled workforces? NO!
Is it our traditions and principles? NO!

It IS some suited gimp sat in an office looking at a piece of paper with no idea what a transfer box or a Halfshaft is deciding that money can be saved by sacking people and buying cheaper components from this fellow,will save us 5 million a year with no thought for quality.

This is the modern world but in my mind this isnt progress we are all going backwards.You are all defending some ass hole you probably wouldnt like (been rough hardy landy types :D )who has a porsche and a volvo and a big house where you want to live.

Its these Barstewards who are putting our skilled workers and our pride and tradtions on the breadline,and who benefits from this THEY DO not you,me or the consumer.

Fat Cats getting fatter.The working man losing out!

ONz OUT!!!!!! :buttrock:
 

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And!

We Brits dont care what you invented or designed.

WE INVENTED THE LANDROVER AND THAT IS WHY YOU ARE HERE.

:lol: :clap: :lol: :clap: :lol: :clap: :lol: :clap: :lol: :clap:

ONz OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Now now.. everyone play nicely, or I'll give you all a time out... :D hee hee..

Hey, I live in the US.. and I can't stand 95% of the cars that are made here... HORRIBLE design and fit/finish/ergonomics....Aztek? H2? Taurus? uggh.... but I would not buy a new British car either... I'm more of a German car guy, but I do love old British cars, and some old Muscle cars..


Serg
 

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onslow said:
WE INVENTED THE LANDROVER AND THAT IS WHY YOU ARE HERE.
And Ford's money is why Land Rover is still here. ;)

When I heard several years ago that Land Rover had been purchased by Ford, I shuddered. When the early reports that were out said that the next generation Discovery was going to be based on the new Explorer platform, I started looking at my finances and prepared to buy a new Discovery before the evil deed was done. Like everyone else, I was afraid that Ford was going to take the Land Rover name, slap it on a gussied up Explorer and charge an extra $10,000 for their effort.

Thankfully, it looks like Ford decided early on to let Land Rover stay mostly autonomous and remain a distinct carmaker. But you can't blame Ford for wanting to see a return on their investment and righfully expecting the workers at the Solihull facility to live up to the agreements they made. In order for Land Rover to remain a serious contender in the world SUV market, they have to not only have tremendous off road capability, panache and style, but they need to be as reliable as the Japanese brands. For this to happen, the production process must meet the standards that have made Ford one of the largest auto makers in the world.
 

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onslow said:
THAT IS WHY YOU ARE HERE.
I'm only here offering info & advice to help you keep yours running - I'd never own or drive one! :wave: I'm uncomfortable cramming myself into a '96-02 RR just to drive a few feet. No way I'd do it every day. And Discos are WAAAY to small. I like FULLSIZE! Jag XJs are close, but not worth the extra money over a Mercury Marauder. I'll stick with my Bronco & Crown Vic. :drive:
 

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I've witnessed the USA cars vs. Rest of the World debtate on some other forums and they've all come to the same conclusion-

As a family we have always bought British-built cars, even in the dark days of Austin-Rover. Our selection has included MG sports-cars that leaked, rusted and rattled to the same extent as a Series Land Rover, an Austin Allegro with the square steering 'wheel', and a Rover 800- often voted high on the list of 'worst car ever built in Britain' (it ended up throwing 2 big-ends in the middle of a roundabout).

We have been to the USA several times and have experienced several hire-cars (granted these aren't usually the best cars on the market). They have included Chryslers, Fords and a Saturn. The interior-finish quality of the Saturn was the worst I have ever seen on a car (and a Rover 800 takes some beating....)- you could wobble whole sections of the dahsboard around and if you pressed hard it popped out. The (auto) gearbox was unwilling to change gear with any rapidity and there were numerous rattling noises from the seat bases and door frames.

The last US-car we drove in the US was a Chrysler Cirrus. Apart from its dubious styling (not the issue here), it must have had the most inefficent engine produced in the 1990's- a 2 litre (i think) 4-cylinder that would be beaten hands-down by most Volkswagen, Renault, etc. lean-burn engines in the power/size ratio stakes. It also drank fuel like a top-litreage V8. However, the interior was easily up to Mercedes standards- quality plastics, not a single rattle and good ergonomics.

Meanwhile, in 2004 Britain's only independent mass-production car company (MG-Rover) is selling cars that started life as old Hondas in 1990 (and were old then), its only decent saloon was deisigned by the Germans and its latest city-car is imported from India (with all the quality that entails).

So, as has been said- very few companies actually make cars that are a) good quality, b) good reliablity, c) good value. You get a trade-off between those three.

USA- invented the 3.5-litre Buick V8
UK- invented the Range Rover to put it in.

I very much doubt that either would have lasted as long as they did without the other.

There you go- a transatlantic success story.... :)
 
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