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Who Will Drive Away with Land Rover and Jaguar?

Posted by: Gail Edmondson on July 19, 2007

The bidding is hotter than expected for Ford’s two premium brands, Land Rover and Jaguar. Ford received at least six offers for the two brands today. Most of the bidders are private equity groups, like Cerberus Capital Management — the one that just snapped up Chrysler on the cheap, not to mention a couple of automotive suppliers.

But the most intriguing rumor is that Tata Motors of India, and perhaps even its rival Mahindra, are interested. A Tata acquisition of Land Rover would give the ambitious Indian group a bonafide brand with global sales, speeding its entry into western markets. It would also gain SUV models technology that it could leverage to great advantage in the fast-growing Indian market. For now, Mahindra leads in SUVs — and Mahindra is moving rapidly into Tata’s turf through a joint venture to produce Renault’s Logan for India.

It’s harder to see how Tata would revamp Jaguar, but savvy group Chairman Ratan Tata could well bring in a third party to help reinvent the premium sportscar maker. As long as he doesn’t share platforms with Tata’s existing cars — like Ford did — he’d be off to a better start.

Reader Comments

Sunita Sahay

July 20, 2007 1:46 AM

Tata Safari is a rival to M&M in the SUV segment.


July 20, 2007 2:34 AM

these bidding interests are to supplement their thurst to expand outside India, in Europe and North America


July 20, 2007 9:01 AM

1. Indian Rupee surging against dollar.
2. Indian markets are hot - share strenght in TATA favor.
3. Tatas almost always take a long term outlook.
4. LandRover is quintessential CommomWealth Brand - an region Tata has deep roots in.

Would be great fit for Tata.

As to Jaguar - dump the thing - better left with Ford ? or private equity...


July 20, 2007 5:46 PM

For any nationalists in India from the Nehru/Gandhi era, this should be a very amusing article indeed. For decades they opposed economic liberation in India, citing the fear of 'recolonization' of India by western interests. Here now is an Indian automaker trying to buy out a British automotive icon. Very symbolic indeed.


July 20, 2007 10:07 PM

Hmmm, ford is in financial trouble is it? Ford Motor Company has made so many mistakes, the shareholders should sue the board and the management. From the ugly outdated ford logo on the vehicle, to the horrible lack of styling and reputation for cheapness, Ford typifies what has gone wrong with American Corporations, or does it?

It could also be the stripping of a corporation's assets by wall street. Corporations don't want to pay their employee's benefits and pensions. And wall street has discovered that if they let a company go bankrupt, they can strip its debt, get rid of pension benefits due employees and reuse the corporate name when the company emerges from bankruptcy. Look at AT&T, while it did not do a chapter 11, what was it worth 4 years ago?

Who buys a ford? What image does it convey? ford could easily appear as if it is being purposefully driven into the gutter by management. It is hard to believe intelligent, professional men, could make such horrible decisions without intending to do so. Is Chenney and Rumsfeld on the Board of Ford?

It would seem to me, that since Volvo has an image and quality, why not sell ford, and keep volvo? What difference would it make to the shareholder as long as the company they are invested into is making money. Ford, Volvo, Rumbletumble, what difference does a name make, just send home the dividend check and let me know how much the shares rose this week!


July 22, 2007 4:01 AM

Tata or M&M owning Jaguar and Land Rover? Sure fire way to kill the brands in their biggest markets - (particularly) UK and USA. Sure, the Indian market may be tapped, but the "classy" image of these marques may disappear forever.

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