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Business News

On your marques: former Ford chief Nasser eyes up Jaguar

A private equity arm of, JPMorgan Chase, which counts Jacques Nasser, Ford's former chief executive, as one of its partners is eyeing some of Ford Motor's luxury brands including Jaguar.

The private equity group, One Equity Partners LLC, is believed to be interested in parts of Ford's Premier Auto Group, although talks are at a very early stage.

The Premier Auto Group includes the Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Aston Martin brands.

Other potential bidders for part or all of the unit include Sir Anthony Bamford, the head of the machinery group JCB.

One Equity Partners declined to comment. A Ford spokesman told Reuters: "We do not comment on speculation."

Mr Nasser was ousted as Ford's chief executive and president in October 2001 amid mounting troubles at the car maker. His departure came soon after the US car giant Ford reported a $692m (£367m) third-quarter loss on top of a loss in the previous quarter. He joined One Equity Partners in 2002.

Ford is under pressure to speed up cost-cutting efforts after a $254m loss in the second quarter and worse-than-expected US vehicle sales in July, down almost 10 per cent, as Toyota outsold Ford for the first time.

Separately, Ford said yesterday that Robert Rubin, a member of Citigroup's Office of the Chairman, has resigned from Ford's board of directors.