Monday, September 13, 2010

Castrating a Great Brand: Land Rover Gets Lost In India

According the the folks over at AutoblogGreen, Land Rover's new Indian ownership, the Tata Conglomerate, has no idea how to handle the luxury automotive marquee they've added to their stable of car companies. Tata, in a fit of true boobery, plans to re-invent Land Rover as the new green machine. This has "retarded" graffiti-ed all over it. The only thing that should be green about a Land Rover is the classic English green-paint heavily associated with the brand's heritage and the hope that someone can figure out how to turn the company profitable. Land Rover's are about taming, traversing, and conquering exotic and hazardous environments with class, elegance, and English sophistication. Nowhere does this brand even remotely align with the meek and faux-sensitivity hyped by urban-dwelling effete liberals who pride themselves on pretending to care by over-paying for a crappy car to impress their shallow friends outside the yoga studio. The Japanese have already gifted the American consumer with the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and forthcoming Nissan Leaf. The American tax-payer is picking up the bill for the doomed Chevrolet Volt on this front. Cutting costs, improving efficiencies, and leveraging technology can all be smart and strategic business moves, if executed in the proper context. However, turning a brand upside down and negating its heritage is a messy way of committing business seppuku. Is Tata looking to build a successful car business or just ruin a great British brand?

The irony was not lost of the werewolf, when the former colonial subjects acquired two jewels of the British automotive industry. However, the double-irony truly rests in the fact that Britain's alpha colonial progeny, the United States, punted Jaguar and Land Rover to the more backwards and confused colonial offspring in India. Land Rover and Jaguar's have been dregs for years, not on account of style or design, but on account of crappy reliability ratings. The answer is so simple, if Tata, or any automotive giant was serious about re-igniting these brands, just building a car that works on a regular basis would do wonders. Somehow, that simple message seems to be lost on everyone who ends up owning these brands. It looks like Land Rover and Jaguar will end like the British Empire, with a weak yelp, as opposed to a glorious roar.

No comments:

Post a Comment