Hooniverse Asks: What Auto Company Has Benefitted Most From a Change to Foreign Ownership?

It once was the case that you knew cars by their nationality and most brands were wholly owned in the country of their origin. Volvos were Swedish, Bentleys were British, and Citroëns were oh-so French, ooh-la-la.
Today however, thanks to something called the global economy, it’s hard to tell who owns what, and the entire idea of a car exemplifying the tone and ethos of its country has kind of been thrown out the window. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing however. For every Mondeo-based Jaguar X-Type, which was thrust upon an unreceptive cat-fancying public under the American company’s ownership of the British marque, there has been a Bentley Continental GT, which feels as British as a bowler hat and grousing about the EU despite its VW underpants.
Ratan Tata, whose India-based namesake company has in fact breathed new life into both Jag and its sister marque, Land Rover is a good example. Each brand’s new products under Tata ownership have felt like the British cars they are, and not some Indian interpretation. It should be noted however that the Royal Enfield motorcycle is the latter and it’s still pretty cool. So, considering the highs—like Tata and Jag—and the lows—exemplified by Citroën and Maserati—what brand do you think has most benefitted from having been sold to those outside their country?
Image: Telegraph.uk

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  1. Jofes2 Avatar

    Saa… no, I was thinking of something else.

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    I am curious as to how much change in the new model program there has been at JLR since Tata took over. I wouldn’t be completely surprised to hear that it is what has been set in train under Ford. Of course Ford did get the direction wrong for a while.
    I would nominate Volvo as having thrived since the Geely purchase. They didn’t do too badly under Ford either even if their cars weren’t always 100%

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Have to agree on this one. It appears that Geely so far has been the happy money fairy with Swedish engineers and German designers being on the receiving end.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Presumably some Swedish ones too!

  3. crank_case Avatar

    I can’t think of a better example than JLR to be honest, Ford never quite seemed to get it together, they did a better job with Volvo, but even that seems to be doing better post Ford, though it remains to be seen if the four (or three!) banger engine in everything + boost + electricity strategy works out. Rolls Royce and Bentley have both done well under VW and BMW, not only did both get new models that were a cut above their ageing predecessors, but for ages the difference between a Bentley and Rolls was vague much like Daimler badged Jaguars, the split might have meant another competitor, but actually good for sales of both.
    Speaking of Daimler, Tata may have done right by Jaguar and Land Rover, but Daimlers fallen of the map entirely.

  4. ptschett Avatar

    Chrysl…. HAHAHAHA no.
    (But I’d say Fiat has been a better partner than Daimler was…)

  5. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    I’d say Mini. They were brought back from the dead. Production of the old model was about 7,000 units in Y2K. Now I think they’re up to about 300,000 units per year.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      But they are no longer building Minis. Seriously, the new 5-door Mini is as big as a B-segment hatch.

  6. Desmo Avatar

    (now Mercedes)

  7. The Real Number_Six Avatar
    The Real Number_Six

    Aston Martin used to go bankrupt weekly, but it’s been a pretty smooth decade since being freed by Ford.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      I had to check who owns them – an investor group. Didn’t they retain their umbilical cord to Ford?

  8. Infamous007 Avatar

    I will say jaguar. They went from looking like global model fords with light colored woodgrain added to the interiors to a very unique and distinctive design language for both the interiors and exteriors

  9. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    GM, under Kenyan ownership. ( I keed, I Keed!)