Ford were mighty relieved when it managed to off-load it’s British marques, Jaguar and Land Rover, to Tata. Now after 1 year and 9 months of ownership, causing the normally profitable Tata Motors to fall into a £41 million pound loss and falling sales, how do you think Tata are feeling about the purchase of JLR? Sad? Depressed? Suicidal? According to steelguru.com, Ratan Tata is surprisingly optimistic.
If we assume that the global meltdown is a phenomenon that will be over in the near term, I think we will look back and say that these are very strategic and worthwhile acquisitions. There were many questions raised regarding whether these two large acquisitions Corus and JLR are worthwhile and whether the prices were right in terms of being at the top of the market, virtually. My view on that is that if you want to buy a house and that house is of a particular value, then it may not be there if you wait
I hate to break it to him, Jaguar Land Rover wasn’t a house in Belgravia, but a flat in Moss Side. But despite the toxicity of Jaguar Land Rover which is apparent to everyone except Ratan Tata, he still carried on optimistically saying that buying the company gave Tata “international brands” which would have taken years and billions of dollars to establish. Casually, omitting that Volvo, was also up for grabs, too. He then, laid out his plans for the marques in India.
“We have one retail outlet in the country and it is just imports against orders. It will never be the same until we look at another phase where there would be assembly in India, which in turn will depend upon the interest level and the ability of JLR to make that commitment to invest in India.”. The article finishes with this quote “I think JLR would at present moment continue to just look at importing to India and look at improving and securing its position in the territories in which it is strong.”
Was that a thinly veiled threat to management in the UK to pull their socks up? I don’t doubt that Tata Motors have a long term view of Jaguar and I believe their sincerity to restore the brands to their former glories. However, I wonder whether Tata simply do not grasp the monumental task in front of them. Maybe this bravado is for show? I just don’t want my favourite car company to be consigned to the history of books along side Packard, Studebaker, Pontiac, Saturn and Oldsmobile.