Ian Callum, Jaguar's design director and creator of the XF saloon, feels Ford has abandoned the prestigious British car maker in its time of need.
Together with Land Rover, Jaguar is poised to move out from beneath Ford's umbrella to become a division of the Indian conglomerate Tata.
“I am very sad that we're leaving Ford,” Callum said at the international Jaguar XF launch in Monaco.
“It's taken us a while to realise Ford no longer wants us. But I suppose we have to move forward. It's hard to work out why Ford is selling Jaguar and Land Rover when — with Land Rover especially — there are clear profits being made.”
Callum believes that once the two British vehicle makers are sold, Ford will become a very different company.
“They will have to rely on mainstream models in highly competitive segments,” he says. “It's a bigger challenge than making niche segment vehicles like Jaguar and Land Rover.”
But despite being pensive about the move from Ford, Callum sees opportunities for an untethered Jaguar.
“We will have a better, a clearer understanding of what we are doing,” he says. “The XF sedan is the move to the next level, following on from the XK coupe. From here we go to the new XJ saloon (estimated for release in 2011).”