2013 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Gt Limite on 2040-cars
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Auto blogTue, 25 Sep 2012 16:30:00 EST
It's hard to think back now, but the same man overseeing the design of the 2013 Ford Fusion also presided over a rather lackluster period in Ford design, highlighted by vehicles like the Five Hundred and Freestyle. With the redesigned Fusion receiving high praise, J Mays tells Automotive News that he feels vindicated from criticisms suggesting he's not a daring enough designer.
When Mays took over as lead of design in 1997, he admits to having quite an ego ("My head would barely fit through the door some days. I've long since gotten over myself") and the workload to match. With the Blue Oval's portfolio full of premium brands like Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo at that point, along with the bread-and-butter Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models, Mays certainly had quite the challenge.
It was in the mid-2000s that Mays took over just the premium brands, and took on the new title of Chief Creative Officer. At the time, Mays endured some criticism for looking backwards to retro styling, rather than setting a new standard for American car design - criticism that Mays says he is free from with the all-new Fusion.
With most recalls seemingly affecting mass-market vehicles, it'd be all too easy to assume, consciously or otherwise, that higher-end automobiles never face such issues. But the main reason we don't see the NHTSA recalling more luxury automobiles isn't because of their quality, we'd postulate: it's because of their relative scarcity.
Take Jaguar Land Rover, recalls of whose vehicles we only seem to have cause to report about once a year. So if you're figuring they're about due, here you go. The Indian-owned British auto group has just announced two recalls, both regarding suspension components: one affecting Jaguars and another concerning - you guessed it - Land Rovers.
First up we have a recall for 2013 to 2014 model year Jaguar XJ, XF and XK models - a whopping 297 of them - which have been found to have problematic toe links. Separation of the toe link from the rear sub-frame could result in impaired stability and control over the vehicle's direction, so JLR is calling them in to replace the nuts and washers on the rear toe links.
Care for a bit more proof that the Jaguar Land Rover portfolio of vehicles is the best it's ever been? Well, the Indian-owned pair of brands saw a record year in 2013, while 2014 has seen a 14-percent increase in sales. The crazy thing is, though, is that figure could be even higher, provided the company had the production capacity.
JLR is running a six-month waiting list on two of its most popular models, the Range Rover Sport (above) and Range Rover. According to Mark White, the company's chief technologist for body engineering, the blame can be placed on the paint shop at the company's Solihull factory, in the UK.
"We will probably max out the paint shop before we max out the body shop. Putting the second body shop in has given us the flexibility to ebb and flow the different models that go through there and meet the capacity demands we've got," White told Automotive News. "However, you always hit a bottleneck somewhere. And the paint shop is probably going to be the next biggest obstacle."