India's Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and private equity firm One Equity Partners have all submitted their final bids with a decision expected in the next 2 weeks.
According to insider sources all three bidders have submitted very competitive proposals and it will be a close call for Ford.
Ford has long held the view that it wants to sell Jaguar and Land Rover together and not separately. Consequently, Mahindra & Mahindra who is only interested in Land Rover, has had to dig deep for Jaguar.
This has raised issues with Jaguar dealers in the U.S. who have voiced concern over Indian ownership. Reports indicate bids could be in the range of $1.5-$2 billion USD.
Apart from the monetary amount, bidders were required to submit a balance sheet health, management freedom and restructuring flexibility report, which according to Ford sources will be a deciding factor as the company takes into account "obligation to local communities and employees".
Analysts indicate India's Tata Motors as the front runner due to support from Ford's UK union leaders as well as its size and familiarity with the UK market. Ford has said it could announce the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover by the year-end or early next year.