Nasser: Jaguar was as-is deal
When Ford Motor Co. CEO Jac Nasser announced last week that his company would buy Land Rover, he said Ford still has to go over Land Rover's books with a fine-toothed comb, performing so-called due diligence. A reporter asked what lessons Ford had learned doing due diligence for the 1989 acquisition of Jaguar. A laughing Nasser replied: 'What due diligence at Jaguar?' That deal, he explained, was take-it-as-it-is. 'It was walk-in, walk-out,' Nasser said. 'We walked in, they walked out, we handed over a sum of money. If you call that due diligence, that's what it was.'
ROBERTS' NEW ROLE - Roy Roberts, former General Motors vice president, is expected to join the dot-com world this week as part of an online minority exchange that will match minority-owned suppliers with customers, and vice versa. The biggest users in the auto industry are expected to be Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. That's because GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler may have painted themselves into a corner - and out of the picture - by contractually agreeing to do all their procurement for the next five years through their own joint online exchange.
164 SMILEY FACES - Record new-car sales for 1999 must have reassured the nation's franchised automobile dealers about the year ahead. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the Dealer Optimism Index jumped 27 points in the first quarter, to 164. The index measures dealers' expectations for the next 12 months. 'Concerns over the economy, Y2K and rising interest rates caused the optimism index to dip slightly during the fall of 1999,' said Paul Taylor, NADA's chief economist. 'But the index has rebounded to the five-year high it reached in April of last year as vehicle sales have accelerated.' Fifty-seven percent of the dealers surveyed expect profits to improve; 11 percent of those say they'll improve substantially. Thirty-eight percent expect profits to remain unchanged, and 5 percent think profits will deteriorate.
2 CATS HOOK UP - Rocker Sting has a thing for Jaguars, and it has blossomed into an ad deal. Asked to choose a vehicle as background for his 'Desert Rose' music video, Sting picked the Jaguar S-Type. Sting's manager, smelling a deal, dropped a dime on the luxury automaker. The result: TV spots using footage from the video, with the line, 'Everyone dreams of becoming a rock star. What then do rock stars dream of?' The commercials debut today, March 20.