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High Court judgement prevents the demise of the quintessential British motoring icon
Dateline: 17 September 2015
In a landmark ruling in the High Court, an English judge has ordered Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to continue production of the Land Rover Defender utility vehicle, for at least another five years.
The production of the iconic vehicle, which has been manufactured in the UK for a record 67 years, was due to cease at the end of 2015. But customers and fans of the 'Landy', as it has been fondly referred to for decades, had other ideas. "Raise the price if you wish, but we are not going to allow you to stop production," said Lord Montfort, echoing the sentiments of Landy adherents across the globe.
At the heart of this debate is the right of customers to dictate business strategy and product design. Consumer protection should be extended to not denying customers what they so clearly want. "Conscious capitalism goes beyond just satisfying shareholders' desire for growth and profits," said FutureWorld guru Anton Musgrave. "You need to consider customers, employees and the broader community, and delivering on a higher purpose will get you loyalty you can't buy!"
Chief among the arguments in court was the fact that there is steady demand of 18,000 units per year for the original Land Rover. It may be a niche product, but in the age of long tail marketing, that is sufficient to sustain it. No company should squander brand heritage built up over generations; there is plenty of room for new high-tech models alongside the Defender.
JLR's parent company, Tata of India, was reminded by the judge that their corporate values are founded on 'Trust', and more than a million Landy owners around the world are trusting them to do the right thing, and keep supporting the Defender.
Published 10 October 2013
Hazardous Thinking At Work
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Vimal Ichharam   Good news for Landy enthusiasts
Whilst Tata have cited decreasing profitability as the key reason for wanting to halt production of the iconic Landy, the good news is that new approaches to vehicle manufacture have thrown it a lifeline. No longer will the Landy be manufactured in Tata's sprawling complex in Birmingham, instead Tata now offers a manufacturing licence to manufacture which individuals can buy in the same way that they would buy a licence for a piece of software on their computers. The opencar (as in opensource) community have grabbed this opportunity and used the Local Motors template to setup the Landy workshop version. See Landy will now be made and customized by the very people who love driving it!

Posted: 10 October 2013 at 08:06 Delete Reply to this comment
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Doug Vining   Good news for Landy enthusiasts
Thanks for adding to the scenario with an open license to 'Make your own Landy'. A great idea!

I'm sure that, as 3D printing and other digital manufacturing techniques spread to prosumers, we will see more and more self-fabrication of complex products like cars, bikes and boats, but the design is complex and best co-sourced from the originators and enthusiasts, who can often make improvements.

I look forward to 'Opencar' and micro-manufacture of niche models in local markets - great way to go.

Posted: 16 October 2013 at 09:33 Delete Reply to this comment
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Doug Vining   Getting less than you paid for
In this digital age of instant gratification, we buy goods and services which are delivered with terms and conditions we usually don't read. We're happy to get automatic updates and 'improvements' automatically downloaded from the cloud. But what happens when some of those updates mean that we end up with less than we had before?

Here are some examples of top tech companies removing features without asking our permission, and consumers can do little about it, except expose these actions on social media. The most telling point of these cases is that they were done to suit the vendor's business, with no thought to what the customer might prefer. Who said the customer has the power these days?
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Getting less than you paid for") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:

Posted: 20 December 2013 at 10:03 Delete Reply to this comment
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Wolfgang Grulke   Getting less than you paid for
Great post - raises some interesting questions! Not least of which is - "What exactly does 'less' mean?"

Posted: 20 December 2013 at 17:25 Delete Reply to this comment
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