As posted just a little bit ago,over the AP
I knew it was inevitable,And I hope that Tata will,as their first
decision,put an end to this horrible looking new XF-Type.I don't
know,but being an long time lover of all things Jaguar,this new XF is
well,let me just say....It looks more like the new Chrysler than a
But anyway,Land-Rover and Jaguar are now in the hands of Tata from
India,and I find it kinda funny that yet another company from yet
another former colony has taken over ownership of a legendary British
Icon.So who knows,maybe in another 19 or so years,Tata will decide
it's time to sell Jagaur,and will end up being so to a company from
Hong Kong,or with a little luck,to one from Quebec or Sydney.
So enouth of my thoughts,here's the AP report:
By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer
DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. is selling its storied Jaguar and Land Rover
brands to India's Tata Motors Ltd. in a deal that will net the U.S.
automaker $1.7 billion — roughly a third of the price it paid for the
two luxury brands.
The deal announced Wednesday will expand the Indian carmaker's reach
around the globe and give Jaguar and Land Rover badly needed capital
to update and expand their product lines.
The agreement had been in the works for months as cash-strapped Ford
sought money to fund its turnaround plan.
Tata will pay $2.3 billion for the British brands, but Ford will pay
about $600 million into the Jaguar-Land Rover pension fund when the
deal closes, Tata's statement said.
Ford bought Jaguar for $2.5 billion in 1989 and Land Rover for $2.7
billion in 2000. But the Dearborn-based automaker has been struggling
and wants to focus on its main brands.
Selling the companies at such a loss clearly shows buying them was a
mistake for Ford, said Erich Merkle, vice president of auto industry
forecasting for the consulting company IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids.
"How can you call it anything else?" he asked. "You have to cut your
losses at some point. It's been draining them of cash and resources."
The net proceeds aren't enough to rescue Ford's finances, but the sale
will allow the company to focus on its core Ford brands, Merkle said.
Tata should have the cash to rescue the brands and develop new
products to better compete with luxury automakers such as BMW AG,
Tata said it expects no significant changes in the terms of employment
for Jaguar and Land Rover's 16,000 workers. It said the transfer of
the brands would take place at the end of the second quarter.
The sale raises the Tata conglomerate's profile on the world stage,
said V.G. Ramakrishnan, the lead auto analyst with the consulting firm
Frost and Sullivan India.
"It gives them a much better branding image in the global market,"
Ramakrishnan said. "This is another important landmark step of
showcasing that Indian companies are arriving on the global landscape.
Many people will see this deal as the future of things to come — you
will see more companies out of India acquiring global companies. They
want to be seen as major global players."
Tata Motors built the first fully Indian-designed car. In contrast to
the high prices that Jaguars and Land Rovers sell for, Tata recently
announced plans to build a $2,500 car later this year.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement that the British brands are
leaving Ford in good shape.
"Now, it is time for Ford to concentrate on integrating the Ford brand
globally, as we implement our plan to create a strong Ford Motor
Company that delivers profitable growth for all."
Tata said in its statement Ford will continue to supply engines,
transmissions and other components "for differing periods." Ford also
will continue to provide environmental and other technologies as well
as engineering support.
Tata Chairman Ratan N. Tata said his company will try to build on the
brands' heritage, keeping their identities intact.
"We aim to support their growth, while holding true to our principles
of allowing the management and employees to bring their experience and
expertise to bear on the growth of the business," he said in a
Roger Maddison, an official with Unite, Jaguar and Land Rover's main
labor union, said the deal is good news for the automakers' employees
as well as those who work for parts suppliers.
"Unite has secured written guarantees for all five UK plants on
staffing levels, employee terms and conditions, including pensions,
and sourcing agreements. The sale ensures our members futures and we
look forward to working with Tata," Maddison said in a statement.
Mulally has said the company would invest the proceeds from the sale
in quality and product development at Ford.
Ford named Tata as the preferred bidder for the British automakers in
January, essentially dismissing two other bids.
Cash-hungry Ford, which lost $12.6 billion in 2006 and $2.7 billion
last year, has been looking to sell Jaguar and Land Rover for months.
It has mortgaged assets to continue operations and expects to burn up
$12 billion to $14 billion until 2009, when it plans to return to
Jaguar and Land Rover are strained by unfavorable exchange rates and
high production costs in Britain.
Tata Motors is part of Tata Group, India's oldest and largest
conglomerate. The family business is owned mostly by Tata-funded
charitable trusts. A substantial portion of the group's income is
channeled into various philanthropies that have helped build some of
the country's finest institutions, including India's first cancer
Tata companies are known for offering worker benefits that are rare in
India, including pension and child care allowances.
Some experts believe the group still is too bloated. Ratan Tata
concedes he has "not been very successful" at pruning the number of
companies and downsizing staff, which currently totals about 290,000.
Among Tata's holdings are steel makers and a consulting service that
does software engineering and other work for western firms.
Ford shares edged up a penny to $6.01 in morning trading Wednesday.
They have traded in a 52-week range of $4.95 to $9.70.