By on April 8, 2019

There’s always that one guy who says, “If you ever getting around to selling that thing, call me first.” Usually, this statement is directed at a classic car that spends more time collecting dust than miles. In PSA Group’s case, the message involves another automaker.

The French automaker, which hit Geneva last month looking for love, apparently has an interest in the struggling Jaguar Land Rover.

Owned by India’s Tata Motors, JLR finds itself in a rough patch. Hit by a triple salvo of tightening emissions regulations in Europe, falling sales in China, and a plunging sedan market, the automaker has embarked on a plan to get its financial house in order. An impatient Tata lit the fire after profits turned to steep losses in 2018.

Eyeing the British automaker from across the Channel, PSA, which recently acquired Opel-Vauxhall from GM (and turned around the money-losing business in a hurry), likes the idea of adding some prestigious global brands to its corporate fold.

In an interview with Autocar India, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares said a merger or acquisition isn’t outside the realm of possibility, but he wouldn’t want it to distract the automaker from its main business.

Image: jlr

While the two automakers haven’t spoken a word about the possibility, Tavares said “if there are opportunities, of course, we will consider it.”

“Why not? Why shouldn’t we discuss it?” he continued. “It depends on what kind of value creation we could generate.”

“With Opel, we have demonstrated that we can turn around a company that was in the red for 20 years, in 12 months. So this is something we know how to do.”

For its part, Tata claims JLR is not up for grabs.

“There is no truth to the rumours that Tata Motors is looking to divest its stake in JLR,” a company spokesperson said.

That may be true today, but what about in a year’s time, perhaps after JLR’s efforts pan out in a manner deemed unacceptable by its parent company? Who knows. It certainly sounds like Tavares is playing the role of the co-worker who eyes his colleague’s car from across the parking lot, putting out little suggestions to secure his place at the front of the buyer Rolodex.

PSA, of course, is no stranger to rumors this spring. Reports that the automaker was eyeing Fiat Chrysler for a merger or alliance fell flat, and word of a potential pact to jointly develop cars in Europe has so far born no fruit.

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

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16 Comments on “PSA Group, Always on the Prowl, Has One Eye on Jaguar Land Rover...”

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I hope they do buy JLR,I don’t think seeing PSA cars at existing JLR stores would bring JLR stores downmarket. I’d check out a Megane.

  • avatar

    With all the rumors of a partnership with FCA and acquiring JLR, this could be a truly awesome union of unreliable car makers.

  • avatar

    So ownership of Jaguar Land Rover could change, but it’s Tata for now.

  • avatar

    Toyota will buy Mazda and Subaru.
    Mark the tape.
    Next recession will be much worse than 2009.

    • 0 avatar

      Toyota already owns part of both Mazda and Subaru, and could buy the rest with the change in their sofa….not exactly a bold prediction.

      • 0 avatar

        You inspired me to look up Fuji Heavy Industries’ market cap, which has fallen from thirty-three billion dollars in 2017 to eighteen and change today. Take that, humanities professors!

        • 0 avatar

          Maybe a smart move for Toyota to grab up some smaller folks. Purchasing Subaru would allow Toyota to become an aircraft component builder/subcontractor for Boeing and Bell Helicopter as well as owning the seventh biggest seller of vehicles on the US market. If Toyota would buy Mazda they could solidify being the largest third-world auto manufacturer with the acquisition of a small manufacturer that focuses on producing the majority of its vehicles for the third-world – imagine a 20mm autocannon on a CX-5 or CX-9 alongside a Hilux with a pair of 40mm’s blasting through the sand dunes.

  • avatar

    “With Opel, we have demonstrated that we can turn around a company that was in the red for 20 years, in 12 months. So this is something we know how to do.”

    Does he mean that Jaguars and Land Rovers will be switched to PSA platforms and Brits (engineers) get laid off?

  • avatar

    Now Tata hopefully understands why Ford got rid of JLR. JLR can drag down any company – just watch.

  • avatar

    Maybe seeking a beachhead for its own brands too? I’d be more than interested in a 308 wagon…

  • avatar

    This won’t happen. A couple of years ago Tata was looking to expand its JLR operation by adding another brand. So now all of a sudden Tata is going to pull back and sell? Tata have had a run of good years with JLR so I don’t see them running just yet.

    If ever there was going to be a merger here it will be between FCA and JLR. JLR have lots of components that would interest Alfa and Jeep/ viva Versa. There is much more commercial logic to an FCA / JLR merger than a PSA/ JLR merger. Jaguar won’t suddenly become front wheel drive. In addition JLR have invested big in a new engine factory and a range of class leading engines, they have developed an electric car. Their building blocks are good. PSA’s building blocks? I’m not so sure….

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