It’s the start of the clay season for men, and for the women’s side it has already started. In fact Sharapova captured her very first clay title courtesy of the Bausch and Lomb Championships after she defeated Cibulkova. She also entered the Family Circle Cup and ended losing to Serena Williams in the quarters. Serena was the eventual champion of the said clay court event. This was the fourth straight time that Serena defeated my fave Sharapova, and the first time that they played on clay. This isn’t a sad ending for her, in fact her season is beyond average. Winning the Australian Open, getting a Tier 1 event then getting her first clay title is an achievement. Another great thing to celebrate is her birthday. April 19 is her birthday- Happy Birthday Maria. She’s one of my fave players in the women’s tour. Just one of the few that I truly like.
Sharapova is a success story not just on the courts but off the court as well. After winning the Wimbledon Championships at the age of 17, Maria garnered sponsorships deals that will eventually surpass her earnings off court! She is often considered as one of the highest paid female player in the world- I think she’s number one for 2005, thanks to the numerous sponsorships tucked under her belt. Nike, Canon and Land Rover are just some of the top-shelf names that picked Sharapova as one of their endorsers. The endorsement that was signed by Sharapova for the Land Rover brand is a multi-year contract that was signed in 2006.
First of all, what this recent development shows is that Tata Motors of India has finally joined the big league. The company can now boasts itself as one of the bigger players in the competitive sector. In fact, I am truly amazed at the rate this company is doing. I have this idea that if indeed Jaguar and Land Rover may be up for sale, then an equally bigger car firm not just in terms of asset but on prestige will bid for these two storied names. Not to take anything away from Tata, but for me prior to the acquisition of these two brands the brands and manufacturers that I know- for an ordinary car lover-are the top ones like Mercedes, BMW, Toyota and GM.
The agreement between the two companies still call for an active involvement of the former owner of the two brands. Based on the press release by Tata:
As part of the transcation, Ford will continue to supply Jaguar Land Rover for differing periods with powertrains, stampings and other vehilce components, in addition to a variety of technologies, such as environmental and platform technologies. Ford also has comitted to provide engineering support, incluidng research and development, plus information technology, accounting and other services.
In addition, Ford Motor Credit Company will provide financing for Jaguar and Land Rover dealers and customers during a transitional period, which can vary, of up to to 12 months.
So what’s the other plans for Jaguar? I was about to closed this entry when I chanced upon this article that mentioned the desire of the company to produce a Jaguar concept that has been forgotten. THis F-Type concept was initially unveiled at the 2000 North American International Auto Show. Aside from focusing on this F-Type concept, the brand is keen on re-introducing the XJ sedan and the XF coupe. Jaguar with Tata has also plans for the four-door XK and a cross-over SUV in the near future. Seems like a grand plan, don’t you think? Let’s all wait and see what develops in the weeks ahead.
It seems that the SLR McLaren model of Mercedes-Benz has a lot of fans. It isn’t just the businessmen like Donald Trump who owns one, in fact even the Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney has cast a moist eye on this supercar. So why can’t Rooney just enter a showroom and get one for himself? You see this Mclaren SLR of Mercedes is rare in Britain and only a handful are available. Add the fact that The football star wanted his SLR to be fitted with red leather- the main color of his team, Manchester United!
Wayne also owns a Bentley, a Range Rover and a Lamborghini. Also in the news is the other car of Wayne, the Aston Martin Vanquish S. This car is now up for sale in the market. Wayne was the very first owner of the 2006 Aston Martin Vanquish S, a British supercar. From the name of this model alone, you can bet that something rare and privileged comes with every Vanquish. I am intrigued and I think I have to blog on this yet again on my next blog entry.
From relative obscurity and into the big league. That’s another subplot that is working for Tata Motors right now after the brand managed to acquire Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Company. The Indian company not only buys an ordinary brand, but a storied brand that has spanned generations.
As you can remember, Tata Motors is known as the car manufacturer that makes the Nano. This Nano is labeled as the world’s cheapest car. Now with Land Rover and the Jaguar right under the stewardship of Tata, it seems that the brand has the market all covered. The Land Rover brand brings the top-end SUV technology and cars, the Jaguar on the other hand is its bet for upmarket passenger car and of course the low-priced Nano is under Tata’s stable as well.
With the deal that was announced Wednesday, Tata is set to expand its global reach and at the same time the Jaguar and the Land Rover brand can generate its much desired capital so as to expand its product lines. This deal can also make the company at par with the world’s best. The deal is worth $2.3 billion.