Tata eyes greater UK auto role: chairman

Tata eyes greater UK auto role: chairman


Ijmuiden, The Netherlands: India’s Tata Group, one of four firms looking to buy Ford’s European luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover, is seeking a greater role in the auto industry in the United Kingdom, its chairman said on Tuesday, 25 September.

“We hope to have a greater presence in the automobile field in the United Kingdom," Ratan Tata told reporters.

“The UK has a tremendous automotive industry and a tremendous automotive capability," he said.

Tata Motor, One Equity Partners, Ripplewood and TPG are vying for Jaguar and Land Rover, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday. Analysts value the two brands at up to $1.5 billion combined.

Ratan Tata declined to comment on the matter.

“This is a process underway just now. The process is reasonably private," he said. The Tata group is now building a technology centre in the Coventry area for its automobile activity.

Asked about the wave of consolidation in the steel industry that started last year when Mittal bought Arcelor to become the world’s largest steel maker, Tata said there could be more deals in the pipeline.

“I would imagine a considerable amount of consolidation is yet to happen," he said. He was speaking to reporters after opening Corus’s new research and development centre in Ijmuiden, north-west of Amsterdam.

Tata Steel bought Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus this year, making it the world’s sixth-largest steelmaker.

Tata Group has a number of takeover targets on its radar screen, its chairman said.

“Yes, we do (see acquisition targets). Yes, there are some strategic fits for the group," said Tata. He declined to give details.