Jaguar, Land Rover acting CEO to head new Tata-JLR

June 2nd, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 2 (IANS) The Tata group, India’s largest business conglomerate, Monday said they had formally acquired British marques Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) from Ford Motor Company. The business was acquired at a function in Gaydon, Britain. JLR’s acting chief executive officer (CEO) David Smith will be the new CEO of the business, Tata Motors announced here.

The business has been acquired for $2.3 billion March 26 in an all-cash transaction. Ford has contributed around $600 million in the JLR pension plans, the announcement said.

Ford Motor Company’s executive vice-president and chief financial officer Lewis Booth, who looks after the company’s responsibilities for Europe, Volvo and JLR, was present at Monday’s ceremony at JLR headquarters.

Describing it as a “momentous time” for Tata Motors, Tata said that Jaguar and Land Rover are two iconic British brands with worldwide growth prospects.

“We recognise the significant improvement in the performance of the two brands and look forward to this trend continuing in the coming years,” he said.

Tata assured that Tata Motors would extend full support to the JLR team to realise their competitive potential and help retain their distinctive identities and continue to pursue their respective business plans as before.

Smith has had 25 years experience with JLR and Ford. Before returning to JLR as its chief financial officer, he was Director-Finance & Business Strategy for PAG and Ford of Europe. Smith said that “we look forward to a sustained bright future for the company and its stakeholders”.

JLR has been acquired at a cost of $2.3 billion on a cashfree, debt-free basis. The purchase consideration includes the ownership by JLR or perpetual royalty-free licences of all necessary intellectual property rights, manufacturing plants, two advanced design centres in Britain and a worldwide network of national sales companies.

Tata Motors has also entered into long-term agreements for supply of engines, stampings and other JLR components, plus transition support from Ford, including IT, accounting and access to test facilities.

The two companies will continue their cooperation in areas such as design and development through sharing of platforms and joint development of hybrid technologies and powertrain engineering.

The Ford Motor Credit Company will also continue to provide financing for JLR dealers and customers for a transition period. Tata Motors is negotiating with leading auto finance providers to support the JLR business in Europe and the US and is likely to select financial services partners soon.

The JLR deal catapulted Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company with revenues of $8.8 billion last year, to international headlines when it announced the Ford deal in March-end this year.

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