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Premier Automotive Group

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The Premier Automotive Group (PAG), was a group within the Ford Motor Company which was formed in 1999 to oversee the business operations of Ford's high-end automotive marques.<ref name="hsw-lincoln">Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>

In the past, PAG grew to include responsibility for the Lincoln, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Mercury, Land Rover and Volvo brands. Lincoln and Mercury were returned to Ford direct control in 2002. By 2004, after spending (by one estimate) $17 billion building PAG, the press was questioning the purpose of the group.<ref name="forbes2004">Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>

After Alan Mulally left Boeing to become Ford's CEO in September 2006, the dismantlement of PAG began.<ref>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref> Aston Martin was sold to a UK-led group of investors headed by David Richards in 2007.<ref name="bbc_20070612">{{#if: Aston Martin sold to UK-led group

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 }}|Template error: argument title is required.}}</ref> In September 2006, the Rover brand was secured from BMW by PAG, to protect the Land Rover brand.<ref>Ford buys Rover brand name from BMW from leftlanenews.com</ref> In March 2008, Jaguar and Land Rover were sold to Tata Motors. In March 2010, Ford announced the sale of Volvo, the last PAG brand, to the Chinese carmaker Geely for $1.8 billion.<ref name="www.ford.com/about-ford/news-announcements"/>

Group structure

PAG was based in London, and its North American headquarters were located in Irvine, California. In 2001, the PAG office in the United States is the first Ford building, and the first building in Orange County, to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design classification from the U.S. Green Building Council.<ref name= "intell2001">"Ford Opens PAG Headquarters In California" from autointell.com</ref> When the headquarters first opened, some of its floors were each specifically dedicated to one of PAG's brands.<ref name= "intell2001"/>

In late 2008, a deal was announced to lease the former PAG headquarters building in Irvine to the Taco Bell restaurant chain. Although Ford planned to leave a small product development staff on the property, this was widely seen as the end of the PAG story and an ironic comment on the expensive failure of Ford's luxury-car strategy. The New York Times asked dryly, "Will they install a drive-up window?"<ref>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>

Management

Previous members

Aston Martin

Aston Martin was a member of PAG until it was sold into private ownership on 12 March 2007 for £479 million.<ref name="bbc_20070612"/>

Lincoln

Ford's luxury car division Lincoln was part of the Premier Auto Group as well in the late 1990s, but was pulled out in 2002 as part of Ford's marketing strategy to separate its "import" marques from its domestic ones. During the creation of PAG, Lincoln's line-up received a complete overhaul, beginning with the 1998 redesign of the Lincoln Town Car. The same year also saw the introduction of the Lincoln Navigator SUV and in 2000 the Lincoln LS, which shared its engines and platform with the Jaguar S-Type, was introduced. All three cars were designed in Irvine, California and were, according to many critics, heavily influenced by Jaguar design themes. In both years 1998 and 2000 Lincoln was the best selling luxury car brand in the US. After Cadillac surged back into the market in 2002, however, Ford pulled Lincoln out of the PAG in what is according to Jerry Flint of Forbes Magazine an "impossible to make sense out of... strategy."<ref name="forbes2004"/>

Jaguar and Land Rover

On 18 September 2006, Ford announced the purchase of the Rover brand name from BMW. As part of Ford's initial purchase of Land Rover in 2000, Ford had the option to veto the sale of the Rover name by BMW to any other company. BMW originally intended to sell the Rover name to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, but had to wait 90 days to allow Ford time to discuss the deal. Ford decided in the end to buy the name outright. However, Ford did not plan to use the name in production, instead buying it merely to protect their use of the name Land Rover.<ref>Ford buys Rover brand name from BMW</ref>

Ford accepted the deal to sell Jaguar and Land Rover to the Tata Group in March 2008 for £1.15 billion.

As part of Ford's sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors, the Rover brand name was included in the deal, as well as the Daimler and Lanchester marques.<ref>Template:Citeweb</ref>

Volvo

Geely was reported to have approached Ford in mid-2008 about a possible takeover of Volvo Cars. On October 28, 2009, Geely was named as the preferred buyer of Volvo Cars by Ford.<ref name="guardian1">Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref><ref>Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref> On December 23, 2009, Ford confirmed that all substantive commercial terms for the sale to Geely had been settled. Geely signed a deal with Ford to acquire Volvo Cars for $1.8 billion on March 28, 2010 and is expected to close the deal by the third quarter of 2010. <ref name="www.ford.com/about-ford/news-announcements">Template:Citation/core{{#if:|}}</ref>

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