Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Ford Selling Jaguar And Land Rover To Tata? What Sale Means

Tata Xeta

Need proof the world of wheels is increasingly being spun by automakers in developing countries? Look no further than Tata Motors   out of India.It is reportedly close to buying Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford . If this goes through, it would be a win/win for the companies involved.

Ford gets: cash and better focus. As I mentioned in my blog Monday, Ford is looking to streamline its portfolio, and shedding two companies that have done little to help the bottom line is part of that plan. Jaguar in particular has been a drain on the company in recent years. Ford will no longer have to spend money, time, and energy trying to get the cat to purr.

Jaguar and Land Rover are two brands with great potential--if properly managed. In fact, Land Rover is starting to show it can deliver on that promise with its newest models breaking out of the company's reputation for building SUV's that are not the smoothest ride. Jaguar has a ways to go. In my opinion, its cars don't measure up to other luxury lines. But Tata can fix that IF it brings in the right people, with the right strategy.

Tata gets: entry into luxury and North American markets. Tata has long dominated the Indian auto market which has been growing rapidly in recent years. Now the company has the chance to tap in to two potentially lucrative markets: luxury and North America. Will Tata do a better job than Ford in managing Jag and Land Rover? I'm not sure. But if Tata is smart it will find a way to grow Jaguar and Land Rover by not smothering the two companies.

Questions?  Comments?