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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 03-26-2008, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Future could be bright for Jag, Land Rover

From Automotive News:

Future could be bright for Jag, Land Rover
John Revill
Automotive News
March 26, 2008 - 8:50 am ET


Jaguar and Land Rover could have a bright future under Tata Motors' ownership, industry insiders say.

Earlier this month Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata told Automotive News Europe that he would not transfer Jaguar and Land Rover production or component sourcing from the UK to low-cost countries.

"Our plan would be to retain the image, the touch and the feel of Jaguar and Land Rover. We will not tinker with the brands in any way," Tata said at the Geneva auto show. "They are special global brands and whoever acquires them has a responsibility to nurture them and enable them to prosper."

Suppliers, trade union leaders and automotive experts say Tata's ownership will end uncertainty about the future of the two brands and allow them to grow.

"There is an excellent future ahead for Jaguar and Land Rover. They couldn't have asked for a better new owner," said Kumar Bhattacharyya, head of the Warwick Manufacturing Group in central England, which has worked with Tata.
Bhattacharyya said Tata's commitment to long-term investments and keeping the current management teams is positive.

"Tata is a very benevolent company, they are not going to be looking for a quick buck, they are going to be there for the long haul," he said.
Tata will support Jaguar and Land Rover by providing whatever technology and funds are needed in the future, Bhattacharyya said.

Suppliers also are upbeat about the brands' new owners.
Said Grant Adams, managing director of Sertec Group Holdings, a UK body panel and stampings supplier: "We are very positive, especially when you look at the other companies that Tata has bought such as Corus and Tetley. Both have gone from strength to strength."

Added Adams: "It is almost the perfect marriage, although you never know how it is going to turn out until they start living with each other."
Dave Osborne, who heads the automotive unit at the Unite trade union, which represents most Jaguar and Land Rover workers, also is positive about the brands' future.

"Tata is talking about a long-term vision for the companies and is committed to keeping manufacturing, design and engineering in the UK," he said. "Its view of the Jaguar-Land Rover business is not far removed from ours."

Added Osborne: "I can see a reasonably bright future for Jaguar-Land Rover under Tata ownership. It's going to be a tough road back, but I think the tools are in place to do it."
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