Mumbai: Tata Motors Ltd, India’s largest auto maker by revenues, is likely to sign an agreement with Ford Motor Co. to buy the Jaguar and Land Rover brands during the week starting 17 March, according to Roger Maddison, national officer for Unite, the UK trade union representing the employees of the two British brands.
Unite and Tata Motors will also be signing a memorandum of understanding as early as next week, Maddison said. “We have all the sourcing, pension funds and employee guarantee agreements in place,” he added.
Maddison said that the union had met with Tata Motors’ managing director Ravi Kant and his team, and was pleased with the assurances they gave to Unite. “We have no reason to believe that an honourable company like Tata will not live up to its guarantees,” he said.
“We are in discussions and there are no roadblocks,” said a Tata Motors spokesperson.
Ford is not going to retain any stake in Jaguar and Land Rover, and will continue to supply engines and components to the two brands for the existing model range for a period of at least five years, until the business plan that current owner Ford has drawn up for the two brands ends, Maddison added.
“There are no major roadblocks. On some issues we need to clarify certain things,” said John Gardiner, a spokesperson for Ford. He said the areas mainly related to engine supplies and technology, component supplies and intellectual property. He declined to set a date for closing the deal.
In January, the American car maker named Tata Motors as the preferred bidder for Jaguar and Land Rover.
Analysts have pegged the deal may cost Tata Motors about $2 billion (Rs8,060 crore). Ford bought Jaguar in 1989 for $2.5 billion and Land Rover in 2000 for $2.73 billion.
Ravi Krishnan contributed to this story.