Will Unions Force Ford to Retain a Stake in Jaguar and Land Rover?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Thompson Financial News (via) Forbes reports that Ford wants to make a clean break with its Jaguar and Land Rover brands. When Tata Motors takes control of the "crown jewels" in Ford's never-mighty Premier Automotive Group, Alan Mulally's minions don't want to retain a minority stake in either firm. While Autoblog is busy worrying "if Tata has the infrastructure to supply Jag and L.R. with the necessary components, from drivetrains to switch knobs," the real story is that Ford's U.K. trade unions are balking at the prospect. They're [justifiably] afraid that Tata will shutter both brand's UK ops post-purchase, threatening 16,500 union jobs. To soothe the savage beast, Tata is launching a charm offensive; they're flying union reps to India to enjoy high class call girls in luxury hotels (a.k.a. "the VW plan"). Just kidding. "Ford officials and trade union members are expected to visit Tata Motors' plant at Pune in the western Indian state of Maharashtra in a fortnight to gather first hand knowledge of Tata Motors' expertise." Yeah, that ought to calm them down.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Cammy Corrigan Cammy Corrigan on Jan 30, 2008

    This story makes no sense. The unions threw their weight behind Tata's bid because they were the most "keep jobs in the UK" friendly of the 3 bidders. Why would the union now start baulking at the idea of Tata ownership? Either: A: They never thought the endorsement through properly. or B: Tata are starting to show their true intentions so close to the finishing post. Place your bets, now!

  • GS650G GS650G on Jan 30, 2008

    Outsourcing will be the order of the day.

  • Dean Dean on Jan 30, 2008

    Don't be so sure that call girls at hotels won't be involved.

  • BKW BKW on Jan 30, 2008

    One thing that baffles me...why does Tata want these two losers? Ford paid 4 billion dollars for Jaguar alone, and despite spending billions more (some estimate that Ford has over 20 billion dollars invested in Jaguar), the car has never turned a profit. Jaguar sales in the US are slim and none. Pretty much the same thing is true with Land Rover. JMO: I wouldn't be a bit surprised that if Tata does buy these two vehicles, sooner or later (prolly sooner), production will be moved to India.