Tata denies it is selling Jaguar Land Rover to Peugeot owner PSA

Indian conglomerate rumoured to be seeking to offload troubled British carmaker

Ben Chapman
Friday 10 May 2019 09:20
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Jaguar Land Rover CEO on car manufacturing in the UK after Brexit

Indian conglomerate Tata has denied it is poised to sell Jaguar Land Rover to the French owner of Peugeot.

The troubled British car maker has seen sales slide recently while Peugeot owner PSA has made no secret of its desire to make acquisitions.

On Thursday, the Press Association reported that a leaked “post-sale integration document” had been circulated at the two companies outlining the benefits of integration.

Tata denied the report, stating: “As a matter of policy we do not comment on media speculation, but we can confirm there is no truth to these rumours.”

A PSA spokesperson said the company had no knowledge of the integration document but added that it was open to buying up other companies “if an opportunity comes”.

“On principle, we are open to opportunities that could create long-term value for PSA Group and its shareholders,” said a spokesperson for the Paris-based manufacturer.

The comments did little to quell speculation that Tata is seeking to offload Jaguar Land Rover, which is struggling against declining sales, notably in China, a key market.

Jaguar Land Rover employs about 40,000 people in the UK and in January announced 4,500 job cuts. A month later, it announced a huge quarterly loss of £3.4bn after writing down the value of its cars and plants. Brexit uncertainty and weaker demand in China were to blame, the firm said.

One insider, who has seen the integration paperwork, said: “To have a document like this in circulation at the two firms points to the fact things are very far down the line with either a sale or acquisition.

“Just look at how close the two firms are in the UK – the two head offices in Coventry and Gaydon are just 25 miles apart and both firms make cars in the UK.

“There are plenty of ways the two companies could save money by working together.”

Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover almost collapsed in 2009 before making a remarkable comeback under Tata’s ownership.

Sales tripled to more than 600,000 by 2017 but have begun to slide as the global economy has faltered.

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