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Irvine, CA - The North American subsidiary operations for Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover are creating a new organization within the Premier Automotive Group. The Premier Automotive Group is the Consumer Business Group within Ford Motor Company responsible for premium vehicles. The new organization will focus on driving forward the aggressive growth plans for all three marques, enabling each company to better leverage their individual positions within the luxury vehicle market, and providing the resources to support a stronger franchise network.

The new organization will combine sales, marketing, communications, franchise development, distribution, parts and customer service. It is effective September 1, 2001 and will be headquartered at the new Premier Automotive Group facility in Irvine, CA. All three companies move into the new Irvine facility from mid-August onwards and will be combining the relocation action with the creation of the new organization. Lincoln and Volvo are scheduled to move into the Irvine facility during September.

Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, Chairman of the Premier Automotive Group, said that strong growth in North America was key to the long-term success of the group's marques. "North America is the largest luxury vehicle market in the world and we are very focused on ensuring we have the right business structure to help realize the full potential of the Premier Automotive Group. Combining our British marques in North America makes great sense for our retailers, customers and investors, while creating an environment where they can grow stronger as individual brands," continued Dr Reitzle.

Mike O'Driscoll, president, Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover, North America

Mike O'Driscoll, currently President of Jaguar North America, is appointed President of Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America with immediate effect. O'Driscoll will be responsible for all sales, marketing, franchise development and customer service activities in North America across all three companies.

O'Driscoll said: "This is a critical period of growth for all three marques in North America. With the integration of operations under this new organization, we will be better placed to accelerate our sales and distribution plans for all three marques, as well as take the best from each company to deliver a world-class service to our retailers and customers.

"With all three British marques operating together, we will start to achieve the critical mass required to compete head-to-head with other premium car and truck manufacturers. To be successful in the premium market, you need to be able to offer a broad range of vehicles. With Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover, we are able to offer that range without diluting the core values of each individual marque," said O'Driscoll.

All three companies will continue to operate selected functions out of their existing east coast offices in Lanham, MD and Mahwah, NJ through at least mid-2002. In mid-2002, Premier Automotive Group intends that Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover will establish a single consolidated east coast operations center in Mahwah, NJ.

The Land Rover University and Technical Training Center in Lanham, MD will be retained at its current location. Further details of this consolidation will be communicated over the course of the next several months.

The Executive Director of the Premier Automotive Group, Vic Doolan, said Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover were a very natural fit. "They all share a similar culture and philosophy combined with a product range that is complementary and with virtually no overlap. Historically, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover retailers have often been co-located on single sites. Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America will allow us to bring synergies where they make sense for our customers and retailers while retaining each marques' unique culture and identity. With the formation of the new organization, we will be able to accelerate our aggressive growth strategies for all three marques."

Howard Mosher has elected to leave Land Rover in 2002, but will continue as President, Land Rover North America, within the new consolidated organization until then. In addition to this role, he will assist the internal and external transition teams through the initial integration process.

Howard Mosher said: "With the implementation of the Premier Automotive Group strategy in North America it is clear that a new organization structure is required. My role over the coming months will be to facilitate in whatever positive fashion I can, the transition for Land Rover retailers and associates into the new Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover structure".

In addition to the consolidation of the British marques, a new group will be formed to provide shared services to all the European brands, including Volvo, and selected services to Lincoln Mercury. These functions include Human Resources, Finance, Information Technology and Retail Transformation.
[SOURCE: Ford Motor Company]
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