So long, Dearborn, namaste, New Delhi . . .
Our colleagues at Automotive News are reporting today that Ford Motor Company's sale of Land Rover to Indian automaker Tata Motors is a done deal and will be announced later next week. The cost of the acquisition, which includes big-time money pit Jaguar, is said to be in the neighborhood of $2 billion.
So now that quintessential of British brands will make its corporate home in India. We've heard that Tata plans to build Rovers of some type (new or non-US models?) at a factory-to-be-named later on the subcontinent, though word is that the Rover and Jaguar engines, powertrains, and most stampings will still be produced by Ford Britain . . . at least for now.
For us, it looks like an opportunity for Land Rover, which is a rarity in the world of OE manufacturers (i.e., it's profitable), to make a nice leap in market share, thanks to greater exposure to the Asian market (and those notoriously Anglo-friendly Indian consumers in particular). For Jaguar, well . . . if Tata figures out that you don't make money on this marque by manufacturing bland mid-priced sedans with the ride quality of a late-'90s Taurus, they should be okay.
We just have one request from Tata, however: Can you guys make a Defender with a diesel engine and at least one solid axle for us Yanks? Please?