Steve Dii

JF-Expert Member
Jun 25, 2007
Huko Uingereza naona wanazidi kununuliwa tu;

...Can't they manage their once reputable industries anymore?! What has become of the motor industry, or may be, 'the what goes up must come down' saying is manifesting itself? Well, to me this seems to be a reverse of fortunes for British industries and the clear winners as the news point out, are China and India...

Any Ideas JF?!

Tata Picked As Top Jaguar Bidder

By TOM KRISHER – 3 hours ago

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. picked India's Tata Motors Ltd. as the top bidder for its Jaguar and Land Rover units, the Detroit automaker said Thursday.

Ford has entered into "focused negotiations at a more detailed level" with Tata, the company said in a statement, meaning Tata has become the preferred bidder for the storied British automakers.

"We will proceed with further substantive discussions with Tata Motors over the forthcoming weeks with a view to securing an agreement that is in the best interests of all parties concerned," Lewis Booth, executive vice president of Ford's European units, said in a statement.

Jaguar and Land Rover employees in the United Kingdom were told about the negotiations Thursday morning shortly before the company made the announcement.

Ford executives have said they expect to sell the two British automakers early this year.

Ford spokesman Jay Ward in London would not say how much Tata bid for the automakers, nor would he say if two other bidders, Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and U.S. private equity firm One Equity Partners LLC, were still in the running.

A person who was briefed on the negotiations said Thursday that Mahindra and One Equity still are under consideration.

"Ford hasn't told them to go away, and that's the end of it," the person told The Associated Press. "Tata's emerged as the preferred partner."

The person requested anonymity because the talks are confidential.

In a statement issued Thursday, Mumbai-based Tata Motors confirmed the negotiations.

"We are now entering a period of more focused and detailed negotiations with Ford. We hope both parties can reach an agreement in the forthcoming weeks, though these are complex discussions and there is still much work that needs to be done before that position is reached," the statement said. "We are pleased by the progress in the discussions to date and very positive about the prospects of this business going forward."

Last month people close to the negotiations told the AP the potential suitors had submitted bids that ranged from $1.5 billion to $2 billion.

Tony Woodley, general secretary of Unite, Jaguar and Land Rover's main labor union, said much still needs to be negotiated with Tata.

"We need further and more detailed meetings and discussions with Ford and Tata which will focus on the job security of our members in the Jaguar, Land Rover and Ford plants in the U.K.," he said in a statement.

"There are also crucial issues around wages, terms and conditions and pensions to address before any final decision is considered."

Unions in the United Kingdom are seeking assurances that the sale would not affect employment levels. Combined, Jaguar and Land Rover employ about 15,300 in the U.K.

Ford is interested in maintaining its parts supply relationship with the new owners of Jaguar and Land Rover. The company builds engines for Jaguar in Europe.

Industry analysts have said Ford would like to find a buyer that would preserve the Jaguar and Land Rover heritage and jobs in the U.K. Ford, which is the top auto seller in the U.K., doesn't want to rankle its British customers, they said.

Cash-hungry Ford, which lost $12.6 billion in 2006 but earned $88 million in the first nine months of 2007, has been shopping Jaguar and Land Rover.

Ford has mortgaged assets to continue operations and expects to burn up $12 billion to $14 billion until 2009, when it plans to return to sustained profitability.

Jaguar and Land Rover have been hit by unfavorable exchange rates and high production costs in Britain.

Ford bought Jaguar for $2.5 billion in 1989 and Land Rover for $2.7 billion in 2000, which with Aston Martin and Volvo, made up its Premier Automotive Group.

Earlier this year Ford completed the sale of its controlling stake in Aston Martin for $931 million in cash and preferred stock.

Ford has said it plans to keep Volvo for now, fixing its cost structure and making it a more premium brand.

Source: AP News.

Related topics:

Volvo to take on Tata in India

By Amy Yee in New Delhi and David Ibison in Stockholm

Published: December 10 2007 18:23 | Last updated: December 10 2007 18:23

In the latest tie-up in the automotive sector between global and Indian groups, Volvo on Monday unveiled investment worth $350m in a joint venture with Eicher Motors to boost production of heavy trucks in India.

At the core of the new joint venture is an attack on Tata Motors, which dominates the commercial vehicle sector in the world’s fourth-largest market for heavy trucks.

More than 220,000 heavy trucks worth $7.5bn were sold in India last year and the market is expected to swell as India develops.

Leif Johansson, chief executive of Volvo, said the move was “strategically highly important”.

The growth of retail, logistics and other new industries in India was fuelling demand for trucks, said Siddhartha Lal, chief executive of Eicher, the country’s third-largest truck maker.

Volvo signed a letter of intent to contribute $275m in cash and transfer its $75m truck distribution group to the new entity. The Swedish group will own 45.6 per cent while Eicher will hold the remainder.

Volvo will also take a 8.1 per cent stake in Eicher for a sum that is under discussion.

Eicher will transfer its truck and bus operations, as well as its component business and engineering services, to the joint venture. However, Eicher’s motorcycle brand Royal Enfield will remain separate.

Volvo opened a commercial vehicle factory in southern India near Bangalore in 1998 that last year produced 660 trucks for the domestic market. But the joint venture will allow Volvo to quickly ramp up production in India by teaming up with Eicher, which made more than 24,000 trucks last year.

The new company will have about 2,300 employees with production based mainly at Eicher’s current factory in Madhya Pradesh state in central India.

Nissan Motor and Indian truckmaker Ashok Leyland recently inked a $500m joint-venture to produce light trucks and engines in India. Mahindra & Mahindra has also formed a truck joint-venture with International Truck and Engine Corporation.

The latest agreement highlights Volvo’s drive to develop in Asia’s largest developing economies. It is in negotiations with Dongfeng Motor Group in China to form a joint venture and recently acquired control of Nissan Diesel, the Japanese truck maker.

Volvo had experience and technical expertise in the heavy duty segment that would help it develop heavy trucks that meet new emission standards to be introduced in India, it said.

Eicher makes mostly light and medium-weight vehicles but recently began ramping up production of heavy trucks. In India it claims just 1.8 per cent of the heavy-duty market compared with 27 per cent of the light truck market. Tata has amassed a 67.7 per cent share in heavy trucks in India and Ashok Leyland 30.2 per cent.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
Source: FinancialTimes.

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