- David Twomey
It’s official, Indian business conglomerate Tata is now the owner of Jaguar and Land Rover, having handed over a staggering $US2.3 billion in cash to the Ford Motor Company at the company headquarters in Britian.
At the same time Tata has announced the official appointment of caretaker CEO, David Smith, who has been in the job since Australian Geoff Polites, who had been CEO under Ford and was expected to continue in the job, died suddenly in Australia last month.
Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, was present at the handing over ceremony at the head quarters of Jaguar Land Rover at Gaydon in the UK along with Mr. Don Leclair, the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ford Motor Company, and Mr. Lewis Booth, Executive Vice President of Ford Motor Company, who has responsibility for Ford of Europe, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover.
Mr. Tata said, “This is a momentous time for all of us at Tata Motors. Jaguar and Land Rover are two iconic British brands with worldwide growth prospects. We are looking forward to extending our full support to the Jaguar Land Rover team to realise their competitive potential. Jaguar Land Rover will retain their distinctive identities and continue to pursue their respective business plans as before.
“We recognise the significant improvement in the performance of the two brands and look forward to this trend continuing in the coming years. It is our intention to work closely to support the Jaguar Land Rover team in building the success and pre-eminence of the two brands.”
Tata Motors also confirmed that Mr. David Smith, the acting Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, would be the new CEO of the business. Mr. Smith has 25 years of experience with Jaguar Land Rover and Ford.
Before recently returning to Jaguar Land Rover as its Chief Financial Officer, he was Director Finance and Business Strategy for PAG and Ford of Europe.
Mr. Smith said, “We are very pleased with the association with Tata Motors. We look forward to a sustained bright future for the company and its stakeholders.”
Jaguar Land Rover has been acquired at a cost of US$ 2.3 billion on a cash free, debt-free basis and Ford has contributed $US600 million towards pension costs of Jaguar Land Rover employees.
Long term agreements have been entered into for supply of engines, stampings and other components to Jaguar Land Rover.
Other areas of transition support from Ford include IT, accounting and access to test facilities. The two companies will continue to cooperate in areas such as design and development through sharing of platforms and joint development of hybrid technologies and power train engineering.