Ford Says Tata to Jag

Samir Syed
by Samir Syed

The Financial Times confirms the news everyone's been expecting (and endlessly reporting): the Indian conglomerate Tata has been named the "leading bidder" for the coupled Jaguar/Land Rover brands. In other words, the deal is their to lose. While the FT says Tata will enrich Ford's corporate coffers by somewhere between $1.8b and $2.2b, and you can bet we'll hear the words "core business" from Ford on sale day, the sale represents an abject failure/humiliating defeat for FoMoCo. Comments like this have got to hurt: "Efraim Levy, automotive analyst at Standard & Poor’s equity research arm, said Tata would be able to invest in Jaguar and Land Rover in ways Ford could not afford to." More irony: Tata is something akin to India's Ford; the company that's pledged to build a $2,500 car for its domestic market. So why would Tata repeat Ford's mistake? Enquiring minds, like Michael Tyndall at Nomura Securities in London, want to know. “Tata gets recognition on the global scene. You could argue that it gets technology expertise. But … overlap between the two company’s product portfolios is practically zero.” Meanwhile, Ford gets to burn through a few month's more cash. I jest, I jest. Perhaps this heralds the return of Lincoln as more than just "Ford with leather seats."

Samir Syed
Samir Syed

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  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Jan 04, 2008
    Namaste TATA! Now you'll have a car for India's growing middle class and the flocks of rich people with servants and drivers. You know, the type of people who used to be all over England. :) Back to America: Too bad Lincoln will still be a Mazda/Volvo with leather seats. Ford insists that Volvo will move upmarket to make up for Jaguar's departure. Maybe Ford will get the global branding thang right the second time around with Volvo...but I'm not holding my breath.
  • Mor2bz Mor2bz on Jan 04, 2008

    i don't get it. having too many brands in one house is a big part of what has done in the american manufacturers. i was interested in tata stock but not with this aquisition. maybe the people of India are entralled to have an upscale name attached to their boot, but i would have encouraged tata to build their own brand and keep the money in their pocket. Say goodbye to the $2500 car; too bad - it would have been a good thing. why does every market want to climb upscale?

  • Driving course Driving course on Jan 04, 2008

    How does an air powered Jag sound?

  • Dangerous Dave Dangerous Dave on Jan 05, 2008

    In my Cadillac days (when they were real land yachts) we refered to Lincolns as Fords with lock washers. Funny, I was at a car show today and saw an old Contential coupe and my first thought was "a real Lincoln". These days a Lincoln is just a nice Ford, if there is such a thing. My current ride is a Jag XK8, which is one hell of a car. I've heard (on TTAC I think) that Tata will allow Jaguar to do their thing and give them the financial support they need to build proper motor cars. Hope its true.