View Full Version : "Tata" to Jaguar and Land-Rover

26th Mar 2008, 13:42
Another 2 great British brands find an Asian buyer (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7313380.stm). Why do they see value in these brands, yet we in the UK or at least Western Europe cannot?

Rumour has it that Jaguar are now looking into producing a limited-series of the XK. Sort of a super-hot street car for parading about in late on a Friday evening. It'll be called the XK - Vindaloo...

PS. I once had a dog called Tata - never knew if he should come or go, poor thing. :(

26th Mar 2008, 14:24
Surely they were American !!!!!!!!!!!

26th Mar 2008, 14:41
It's because they are British brands that they are desirable - just as Saab and Volvo are still considered Swedish, despite being owned by GM and Ford respectively. :ouch:

26th Mar 2008, 14:42
No no no! They were originally British, just like most of North America was. Then the Americans started taking over. But before all that came Wounded Knee, the Battle of Little Big Horn (ie. General George Custer) and Geronimo. Almost in full-circle, it's dem (other) injuns who're coming back with a vengeance today...?! :confused: :ok: :uhoh:

26th Mar 2008, 16:50
Let's hope the build quality of the Tata Landrover is better than the Mahindra Jeep....

Standard Noise
26th Mar 2008, 17:52
There could have been a lot worse where buyers were concerned.
I mean, imagine if a famous British car manufacturer, based in the Midlands, was bought by a British group of venture capitalists who took £45 million out of it for themselves then ran the company into the ground before selling the bare bones to the Chinese.

Nah, that'd be too far fetched.:rolleyes:

Ratan Tata is an old style Indian businessman who sees value in the brands as well as profit (anyhoo with LR and Jag looking at their best ever years coming along, there'll be plenty of profit for him). This will give Tata two world famous brands in the car industry and the money he paid is a bargain when you consider Ford have done the hard work (new models and engines) that will see LR & Jag through the next 8-10 years.
As a LR Discovery owner, I reckon it's a good move.

26th Mar 2008, 20:23
At it will keep his steel works busy, what next Dunlop?

26th Mar 2008, 21:33
Two British brands....

Landie makes a profit, and the only way Fix Often Repair Daily could sell Jag is by handing over Landie as a sweetener as Jag has always lost money.

Tata will have to spend, and indeed have promised to spend, hundreds of millions of USD in the part of the deal called Jaguar. We'll wait and see if that will happen, as if the new XF doesnt sell then they have the most profitable part called Landie to fall back on. Unless there's a BIG turnaround, expect Jaguar, as we know it, to vanish.

Lon More
26th Mar 2008, 23:22
Fifth Gear at the Geneva Motor Show yesterday, after being thrown off the Tta stand for poking the thing there; "If you leave the "a" off "Tata" it becomes "Tat".


27th Mar 2008, 02:25
Tata have made a very shrewd investment.
The Landrover brand will continue to make a huge profit for them and many folk here fail to appreciate is that Jaguar are now back on their feet.

In India, Mercedes have made a big impact with those who can afford them and the latest Jaguar range is just the vehicle to take on the Germans - a product which is equal to anything they can produce and a damn sight cheaper.
Tata have a huge influence on the Indian economy and there's no doubt that Mercedes will have their towels removed from the pool side in an instant.

27th Mar 2008, 03:09
anyone see the last episode of fifth gear? Johhny was not allowed to touch the TATA at the Geneva motoshow because he might break it!

27th Mar 2008, 03:19
They'll really start raking it in when they start making the XF in Kolkata... Same retail price in Euro and US markets but considerably lower production costs.

Makes sense to me.

27th Mar 2008, 10:58
I once owned a Rover 2000. In a long line of crap motors it was undoubtedly the very, very worst, closely followed by a Chevrolet Vega. Third and fourth were two Range Rovers but that was in Nigeria. I just used to work on Jags; I could never afford one then and now I know better!

When BMW snatched Rover from under the noses of Honda all I could think was that they had lost their tiny minds. I guess they were looking back into the Fifties, when Rover built some quality motors.

I knew a very clever car dealer from Florida who invested in a Sterling franchise. That was a Rover under another name that was going to wow the stupid Yankees with its quiet British virtues. Guess who turned out not to be quite as stupid as one might assume? Do we still remember the glory days of Jaguar and the XK-120's high-speed run at Jabbeke? (Say what?) That should cause us to open our wallets and pull out cash?

Jaguar, ehhhh... Is there not a lot of Ford Mondeo under the skin, polluting the bloodline same as with today's SAAB/Opels? Well, it still cannot be as bad as with the XJs I used to work on back in the early Seventies. They had brilliant British design features such as windscreen wipers with the motor downhill from the bowden cable so that rain could fill the motor with, uh, rain. Worked okay in the dry, just didn't work so well in the rain. I dunno; maybe it doesn't rain much back in the U.K.?

I always took Jaguar for a sort of flash motor, just not very well engineered. Well, they had all kinds of neatly engineered stuff; it was just that it didn't hold together, so make that "quality engineering," I guess. You looked in the owner's handbook for the E-series and it would tell you not to drive at top speed without lifting your foot once in a while. What is that about? I buy a fast car, I want to keep the pedal to the metal, eh?

Good gravy, do you suppose Mr Tata has a warm spot in his flinty Indian businessman's heart for the Raj? Maybe we see a re-birth of the Mk V or X, with antimacassars on the headrests and a gramophone inside the drinks cabinet.

27th Mar 2008, 11:14
Asian (any Asian) input into either brand can only improve the reliability. Land Rover has the worst warranty claim ratio in Oz at present (46%) of new vehicles purchased, with Jeep running a close second.

27th Mar 2008, 12:13
Sprocket wrote......"Land Rover has the worst warranty claim ratio in Oz at present (46%) of new vehicles purchased, with Jeep running a close second"

That`s because you swagmen keep driving them through billabongs chasing jumbucks through the coolibah trees.

27th Mar 2008, 15:32
You looked in the owner's handbook for the E-series and it would tell you not to drive at top speed without lifting your foot once in a while. What is that about? I buy a fast car, I want to keep the pedal to the metal, eh?

My 1981 733i BMW owner's manual had a two page section on the kind of calisthenics you should be doing, for 10 minutes, every 50 minutes on the side of the road. Then again, on the autobahn, doing 200 km/h you can afford to spend 10 minutes not going anywhere.:=

27th Mar 2008, 15:52
doing 200 km/h you can afford to spend 10 minutes not going anywhere.That is strange thinking - spending one sixth of your journey time 'failing to proceed' (as I believe Rolls Royce phrased it) - during which you could have travelled a further 33kms . . .

I certainly don't plan to interrupt a journey once I start until I reach my destination or I (or my vehicle) need(s) refuelling (and my vehicle will travel 600 miles on a tankful).

27th Mar 2008, 16:00

That is strange thinking - spending one sixth of your journey time 'failing to proceed' (as I believe Rolls Royce phrased it) - during which you could have travelled a further 33kms . . .

I agree and that's why I put the := sign at the end. Don't think there is one for tongue-in-cheek. I am just trying to understand what they were thinking of, in Munich, when they wrote that. The only thing I can think of is they figured a fatigued driver can be a risk on an unrestricted highway.

27th Mar 2008, 19:37
We don' need no steenking calisthenics when we got the blue-white badge out front, eh, amigo? Anyway, there is nothing in my (well, my wife's actually, but never mind that now) BMW's owner manual about anything like that.

Are you sure you aren't getting mixed up with what you can do in the back seat of a 733i? Maybe it's feelthy pictures the Bajuwarians put in the books for Norte Americanos?

Our car is a German-market 330Ci coupé; there's no room back there for anything that would get the Catholic Legion of Decency in a tizz, unless "holding hands" counts. Okay, maybe a couple of midgets could get stuck into it but normal people, no way!

Something to look forward to: how many saddhus can fit into a TATA Nana, a new category in the Guinness Book of World Records. Coat 'em with ghee and stand back! You already got the guys with the fingernails and all, so now this.

27th Mar 2008, 20:15
would I lie to you? Remember this was 1981. The engineers in Munich (Muenchen fur der frau Chuks) maintained, in those days, that putting a coffee cup holder in a car would be the end of the world, as we know it. They also refused to make the steering column telescopic, because they insisted that you should adjust the angle and the hight of the seat to suit the steering wheel. Now tell me that those same people would not insist you stop every 50 minutes and do jumping jacks on the side of the road. Two pages, pictures included. The car is long gone, but I may be able to find the book. The 1985 book (next car) does not have it. A few years later they added the telescopic steering column and now we have coffee cup holders. Ah the progress is just amazing. How do they do it? I think it is called "German Engineering".

27th Mar 2008, 20:19
Four Sprung Duck Technique I believe . . .

27th Mar 2008, 21:36
We do love our cars don't we?! Any excuse, including hijacking this thread to massage one's own mechanical ego will do...carry on folks?! :} Speed cameras anyone...?! :E

27th Mar 2008, 21:48
pineridge wrote:

That`s because you swagmen keep driving them through billabongs chasing jumbucks through the coolibah trees.

Andy sang Andy watched Andy waited till his radiator boiled .... :\

27th Mar 2008, 23:03
Perhaps they intend to close down the factories in the UK and rebuild them in India?????

27th Mar 2008, 23:17
That would probably suit the sort of people who could fork out for a Jaguar (or Range Rover). Until recently, their buyers have had to accept that whatever they managed to accomplish in cost-savings, offshoring or whatever in their own enterprises aimed at reducing labour costs, the goodies they desired to possess, were mainly produced in the high-priced West. Finally, they might now also be able to look forward to relatively lower prices on their toys. That comes at a price obviously - many ordinary working folk might well admire the workmanship of their fellow contrymen. Whether this continues in future, once these manufactures are offshored, may depend on just how many CCTV cameras there are and their coverage: I get the impression that future ex. UK automobile production personnel may well just like to take a sharp object to the side of certain cars on their way to signing up...?! :uhoh:

27th Mar 2008, 23:55
Meanwhile back at Jaguar.....

What future do we all see for the x type.Speaking to my local dealer who is trying to sell me a new estate version they claim build is guaranteed until 2010. It has been given a facelift and at last an auto box on the diesel (not for across the pond though where it is being discontinued) Should I buy one though??? The c class with similar spec is 10k more and I already have a Z4 so don't really want another BMW as a shopping car ( though the 330d m sport is awesome to drive)

I went to the XF factory to have a look at that being built, our local dealer has a quota of 41 cars this year and has sold most of them already so if you want one you may have a long wait.

Now about this X type......or the freelander 2 is a great car too.....I dunno!!!!

28th Mar 2008, 08:41
Well do I remember, not so long ago, visiting our friendly, local BMW dealer to kill some time while the wife's then BMW was being seen to in some way or other. (Probably it was just swapping over the tires from summer to winter, since nothing ever went wrong with it in a technical sense.)

There on the showroom floor were some Rovers. I was attracted to a Rover 75 and wandered over to take a close look at it. (When I write "attracted" I mean in the sense of "it drew my attention," since it looked for all the world as if its styling had been inspired by the common or garden-variety German "Broetchen" (bread roll) with its clumsy, rounded shape.)

The saleswoman wandered over without the usual air of optimism and just nodded sadly when I gave her the usual, "only looking," reply. I just had to ask, though, how these monstrosities were selling, given that for about the same amount of dosh one could buy a proper German-made BMW, rather than this bastard contraption made with German technology and British crapftmanship. I would happily have bought one for the price of a Fiat, say, but not for real money. She just sighed.

Next time I visited the Rovers were gone and so was the supply of spares. I have no idea where you go now to find a Rover dealer. Somewhere out in the German bundu, I suppose.

You want a Jag, one from the X Files, why not go direct to source and buy the previous model Ford Mondeo? Or for more current technology, buy a new Mondeo, the one that looks very like an Audi A6. (Well, until you clean your spectacles, I guess.)

You don't need to be Mystic Meg to see the day coming when the Jags will be sold off cheap, just as the Rovers were, with spares becoming like chicken's teeth. Mr Tata will keep things limping along for a decent interval and then give Jag the chop, is my bet. The sales numbers have never risen to the level Ford hoped for, so that there is simply no long-term future for a low-volume car in this price class. The writing is on the wall!

Perhaps BMW just don't care about how hideous the owners look, so no more compulsory calisthenics. That or they kept getting wiped out by swerving, Polish-driven lorries while busy doing their jumping jacks by the side of the "Autobahn," reducing that customer base.

Experience suggests that however bloated, horrid and possibly impotent I may really be, behind the wheel of my (wife's, but never mind that, darling) flashy BMW 330Ci I am still Mr Wonderful to a certain class of sheila. Just check out the scene in front of your average ice cream palace on any sunny Sunday in Greater Germany to see what I mean.

Lon More
28th Mar 2008, 14:53
pimp my ride (http://tatanano.inservices.tatamotors.com/tatamotors/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=182&Itemid=203)

Ken Wells
28th Mar 2008, 15:23
Here's a thought,

India now owns the last major Car industry of the UK (apologise to Morgan cars) they also own British Steel. India hosts most of the UK call centres including NHS and the BBC finance department. There are now over 40 Indian owned companies in the British Midlands alone and half of these have arrived in the last two years
Several high profile Indian companies like Tata Consultancy Services, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors have already have already set up base within the Midlands region.

The Tata deal is only guanteed to based in the Midlands till 2010, then as sure as God made little green apples, it will revert to India. Have we learnt nothing from MG Rover?

They now have the fastest growing middle class on the planet estimated at some 350 million five time bigger than the TOTAL UK population, has more billionaires than the USA and 8 out of the top 15 richest people in the UK are Indian. One of the fastest growing economies in the world and we still give India million of £’s in foreign aid year after year after year when the UK is taxed to death.

Isn’t it about time we stopped giving foreign aid to countries that do not now deserve it and divert the cash to UK services were it is surley needed?

28th Mar 2008, 15:41
Not that I dispute your statement, Ken, but would you happen to know how much aid the UK gives India? (I have no figures with me) And if it *is* in the millions of pounds, I do agree that it needs to be cut. I have no idea where this money is going...

28th Mar 2008, 15:48
One thing about this deal that nobody has yet mentioned (I think), is that for Tata, this deal gives them not only production plants, but also world class research and development facilities and huge technology transfer input. An industry expert on the radio was citing that to create these facilities from scratch would have cost in excess of £3bn. With this deal, they get them for just over £1bn

Nick Riviera
28th Mar 2008, 16:13


Ken Wells
28th Mar 2008, 16:34
Not that I dispute your statement, Ken, but would you happen to know how much aid the UK gives India? (I have no figures with me) And if it *is* in the millions of pounds, I do agree that it needs to be cut. I have no idea where this money is going...

Gov figures below, on top of this we pledged another £150m in March for education and when Gordon the Moron was in India last month he pledged a further £700million.:ooh:

Now this also happens to be the amount that private equity in India is investing in the new 20-20 India Cricket league, great to see Indians have got their priorities in order while the untouchables also become the invisible. Wealth poors into gambling and cricket rackets!!!

DFID has provided about £1045 million to India in bilateral aid over the past five years. Between 2008 and 2011 the UK will provide £825 million in aid to India.:{

Population: 1.1 billion, with up to 400 million living on less than $1 a day and 900 million living on less than $2 a day. (Not a UK problem!)
Income per capita: $730, so still a Low Income Country.
Growth rate: 8 - 9% per year since 2002. If sustained, India will be the world’s fourth largest economy within 20 years.
India is politically stable and is the world’s largest democracy. Engagement with political processes is good across the social spectrum.
1 in 3 is illiterate. School drop-out rates are high. 90% of children now attend primary school; 92% boys and 87% girls.
The phase of jobless growth is improving but a massive skill shortage continues.
Maternal and child mortality rates are appalling. The maternal mortality rate (per 100,000 live births) stands at 301 and Infant Mortality Rate at 57 (per 1000 live births).
46% of children under three are undernourished. [B]Terrible indictment of India's rich!
A quarter of global child deaths, one fifth of global maternal deaths and one fifth of all new cases of tuberculosis occur in India.
Only 8.3% of the seats in the Indian Parliament are held by women.
Only 33% of the population has access to improved sanitation.
HIV prevalence is 0.36% with an estimated total of 2.4 million cases.
Discrimination and racism according to gender, caste and religion is rife.
2/3 of Indians live in rural areas but agriculture is growing at ¼ of the pace of the overall economy.
India is the 4th largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but emissions per capita are low (1/19 of US).

When Jacqui Smith shamelessly states we can not afford to pay our Police force correctly, when we are taxed more and more and given the excuse that the treasury needs more funds, should we be really giving away millions and million to countries that do not look after their own people?:D

And please don't get me started on the aid we give to that evil tosser Mugabe DFID has spent £120 million on programmes in Zimbabwe since 2001. DFID will spend approximately £30 million in Zimbabwe in 2007/2008:ugh:
I rest my case.

28th Mar 2008, 21:04
A Journo friend of mine in US -- who also happens to be a lawyer and an avid aviator! -- wrote this to me today:

An interesting bit of Xenophobia evidenced here. Tata is an entirely private company that has been buying up foreign companies. Undoubtedly, some benighted Brits will see this as something other than market forces at work. BTW, the two companies Jag and LandRover were owned by an AMERICAN company, Ford and no were not in British hands.

Of course, on this side of the Big Pond, Americans lament the bargain basement sale of US assets - the weak dollar and weak US economy, coupled with the drain of war and high oil prices lead to stuff like that. So, an American company, Ford is forced to give up its holdings in what were once prized British assets.

No one stops to point out that Ford makes shitty cars which is why no one wants to buy them. Ford CEO Mullaly recognizes that Ford needs to improve quality and by many measures, he seems to be doing just that.

Meanwhile, Tata's purchase of these assets is not funded by the British government or any loans or aid they give to India but is financed by leveraged buy out technicques plus some financing from banks, insurers, etc. ... probably some American, British, German, Swiss, French and Canadian banks in there, not to mention the possibility of sovereign funds from the Middle East and Singapore.

See an interesting related article below.


. . . and the refereed article:

Merger, Indian Style: Buy a Brand, Leave It Alone
By ERIC BELLMAN in Mumbai, India, and JACKIE RANGE in New Delhi
March 22, 2008; Page A9

See Corrections & Amplifications item below<http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB120614204921356145.html#MARK> .

Ford Motor Co.'s Jaguar and Land Rover brands might seem ripe candidates for a radical overhaul and a swift swing of the ax. Instead, India's Tata Motors Ltd., which is expected to formally agree to buy the brands in the coming week for $2 billion, likely will take a different approach: Do next to nothing. [image: [Tata]]Tata Chairman Ratan Tata (top) with the much-anticipated Tata Nano. Tata Group headquarters in Mumbai, India

Rather than seeking to wring profits out of two luxury automotive brands that frequently have lost money, Tata is looking to learn from them to help launch its own global expansion in autos, using the brands' own management team and a full roster of employees.

Tata sees benefits from their knowledge, their technology and their sales networks. Although the brands have been plagued by high manufacturing costs and other difficulties, Tata doesn't seem concerned about short-term losses.

Eventually, it may bring Jaguars and Land Rovers to India and sell its own cars overseas, which the company hopes will translate into profits over the longer term. An acquisition is less expensive than creating a global brand from scratch. This approach is common for Indian companies that, for the first time, are seeking to translate fast growth at home into an international presence. It is coming to define mergers and acquisitions, Indian-style.

India's Essar Global Ltd. last year paid more than $1.7 billion to acquire Canada's Algoma Steel Inc. and kept its management and its suppliers. Far from laying off employees and sending their jobs to India, Essar gave them a raise. Meanwhile, it sent a few directors to Canada to learn from the company.

Technology and outsourcing company Infosys Technologies Ltd. has $2 billion set aside for acquisitions, but will buy only when it is welcomed by, and can work with, the current management of targets.

Bharat Forge Ltd., one of India's largest auto-parts makers, has made many small acquisitions in the U.S. and Europe and done little to shake them up.

"Indian companies and culture show a tendency not to come in and turn things upside down," said Gene Donnelly, global managing partner for advisory and tax at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, who has helped advise many India companies on how to deal with mergers and acquisitions. "A Western acquirer goes in and says, 'I need to take costs out.'"

Tech giant Wipro Technologies, which has spent more than $1 billion on overseas acquisitions in the past few years, looks in part to its new takeover targets to teach it things, like how to understand local culture, the buying habits of customers, or the expectations employees will have about vacation.

In many cases, managers later are given a larger part of the Wipro Ltd. unit to run. For example, Tim Matlack, who headed the energy and utilities consultancy business of American Management Systems Inc., which Wipro bought in 2001, now heads up Wipro Technologies' global consulting business. [image: [tata]]Driving to India: A 2008 Jaguar XJ (left) and 2008 Land Rover LR2.

"From our point of view, it's important; culturally, strategically, sometimes even technologically and of course, financially to get the team to continue to run that business," said Lakshminarayana, chief strategy and M&A officer for Wipro Technologies (who goes by one name).

No company has played a greater role in crafting that approach to acquisitions than Tata Group, India's flagship industrial conglomerate and most active international acquirer. "We have sought to keep management in place after we acquire a company," Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Motors as well as Tata Sons Ltd., the holding company for the conglomerate, said in a recent interview. "We pride ourselves on our ability to motivate management's plans."

One of the first major international acquisitions by an Indian company was Tata Tea Ltd.'s takeover of one of the U.K.'s biggest tea brands, Tetley Tea, in 2000.

To this day, no Tetley directors or senior management have been asked to leave. Tata, instead, has sent its managers to work for Tetley and learn about tea buying and branding and exporting to new markets. Tata Tea, for its part has invested more money in Tetley and helped it expand through its own acquisitions.

"Experts say you have to slash, burn, cut and we have not. People might say that is foolish," says R. K. Krishna Kumar, vice chairman of Tata Tea. "Sometimes acquisitions should have an equivalent impact on the acquiring company."

He says Tata Tea has applied what it learned from Tetley about making quality consistent for all its tea brands. It has also taken the Tetley brand to new markets, like neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Another Tata company, Tata Steel Ltd., bought the Anglo-Dutch steel company Corus Group PLC last year for around $12 billion, leaving its management team intact and retaining its employees. From the Corus deal, Tata Steel plans to learn about making higher-quality steel for the booming automotive industry in India.

Still, some are skeptical about the latest potential acquisition by Tata Motors, maker of inexpensive cars and trucks, including the $2,500 "people's car" called the Nano. Tata's current vehicles are "basic nuts and bolts," says Robert Lutts, a Tata shareholder who manages about $500 million as president and chief investment officer at Cabot Money Management in Salem, Mass.

"Once you get into Jaguar/Land Rover, you can make big mistakes... The luxury business is very fickle."

Tata Motors' approach gave it an edge over competing private-equity firms looking at Land Rover and Jaguar. Roger Maddison, an official with the U.K. trade union Unite, said that when he and other labor representatives first learned of Tata's interest in the auto brands, they were relieved.

The unions asked for assurances that Tata wouldn't cut costs in the U.K. by outsourcing assembly of certain components to India. As many as 40,000 jobs in the U.K. -- mainly in the supplier industry -- depend on the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. That doesn't include the roughly 16,000 people that Jaguar and Land Rover directly employ.

During a London meeting with Tata Motors executives in November, Mr. Maddison recalls, "We came straight down and said 'We've obviously got fears that you've got a massive component base across Asia. Would it be your intention to source from Asia into the U.K.?' They hit it straight back and told us 'No way.'"

He said the other private-equity bidders also said they would try to limit layoffs, but the unions support Tata Motors because of its history.

CORRECTIONS & AMPLIFICATIONS: R. K. Krishna Kumar is vice chairman of Tata Tea. Earlier versions of this article incorrectly said he was president and managing director.

Ken Wells
28th Mar 2008, 21:12

So why would they not let Dubai based company buy US ports authority?


They said "it was not in national security interest".