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O’Driscoll Leaving as Jaguar Managing Director

Helped steer sale and rebuilding process.

by on Oct.11, 2010

Mike O'Driscoll will retire as Managing Director of Jaguar.

Mike O’Driscoll, a key member of the Jaguar management team that guided the company through its often difficult days under Ford Motor Co. and then through its sale to India’s Tata Motors, will be leaving the company.

With more than 30 years of experience at the British automaker and its U.K. affiliate, Land Rover, O’Driscoll played a critical role in salvaging the two brands during their years as Ford subsidiaries.  He then oversaw the challenging transition as the U.S. maker decided to focus on its core domestic brands and sell off Jaguar-Land Rover.

“Over the last three years we’ve had the opportunity to start the rebuilding,” O’Driscoll told TheDetroitBureau.com in announcing his decision to retire next March.  “It’s a great way to sign off my career.”

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The legendary Jaguar brand, known for benchmark designs like the classic E-Type sports car, was a financial basket case under British government ownership when Ford decided to buy the maker – after a brief but intense bidding war pitting it against rival General Motors – in 1989.

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Q&A: Jaguar’s Mike O’Driscoll

New owners giving the cat its claws back.

by on Mar.17, 2009

A frenetic 18 months at Jaguar for Managing Director Mike O'Driscoll

A frenetic 18 months and a new owner at Jaguar for Managing Director Mike O'Driscoll

It’s been a turbulent year for Jaguar, the legendary British automaker.  Like all its rivals, up-market or mainstream, the automaker is struggling in the wake of the industry’s worst downturn in decades.  Complicating matters is the fact that Jaguar has new owners.  Last June, it was sold off by its struggling parent, Ford Motor Co., along with Ford’s other British marque, Land Rover.

The new parent is Tata Motors, one of the emerging world’s most ambitious brands.  Manning the helm for Jaguar is Mike O’Driscoll, a long-time employee who was named Managing Director just as talk of the sale got underway, 18 months ago.  TheDetroitBureau.com caught up with O’Driscoll – MOD, to close friends and associates — and turned the conversation to everything from product to the challenges of working for an Indian auto company.

TheDetroitBureau: How has the hand-off been completed?  Is Ford completely out of the picture?

MOD: It’s been a great last 18 months for Jaguar and Land Rover.  The deal’s concluded and we’re running our own business.  We have various agreements, contracts, with Ford Motor Co. for the supply of technologies and certain processes, but they’re fairly limited in scope.  They’re not involved in running the business and haven’t been since before he June 2008 acquisition.  (more…)