The sale of two distinguished motoring marques – Land Rover and Jaguar – is expected to be announced today.
US car giant Ford, which owns the two British-based companies, is likely to announce that India’s Tata Motors will take over Land Rover and Jaguar in a deal worth around £1 billion.
Land Rover, whose models include the Range Rover, Freelander and Defender, is based at Solihull in the West Midlands.
Jaguar, which makes the X-type, the XJ and and the XF series, has plants at Castle Bromwich in the Midlands and at Halewood on Merseyside.
Ford and Tata, whose business empire also includes Corus, have been in talks since last year and tomorrow’s deal is expected to safeguard around 16,000 UK jobs.
The sale is expected to be welcomed by unions as the best deal to be had. Tata has already spoken of its commitment to the two marques and to UK motoring.
The company’s boss, Ratan Tata, said at this year’s Geneva Motor Show that he planned to ‘retain the image, touch and feel’ of both Land Rover and Jaguar.
Tata is taking over the two companies at a time when Land Rover is profitable but Jaguar is suffering financial losses.
The Indian company recently announced the ‘people’s car’ – the £1,200 Nana – and motoring experts believe that while Jaguar and Land Rover were only a small part of the vast Ford empire, the two British-based companies will be a major part of Tata’s business.
Land Rover started business in 1948 and is seen as ‘The’ 4×4 company. It is estimated that many of the original Land Rovers are still in working order. After a succession of owners, the company has been owned by Ford since 2000.
Originally the name of a particular model, Jaguar has been a whole-company name since 1945 and has been owned by Ford since 1989. Iconic models have included the E-type and the S-type.
The Tata takeover means that some of the most famous names old British motoring names are in foreign hands, as BMW of Germany owns Mini and Rolls-Royce, while another German company, Volkswagen, is in charge of Bentley.
© The Press Association, All Rights Reserved