Tata's Takeover of Jaguar and Land Rover: Bumpy Road or Smooth Ride?
In June 2008, India-based Tata Motors Ltd. announced that it had completed the acquisition of the two iconic British brands - Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) from the US-based Ford Motors for US$ 2.3 billion. Tata Motors stood to gain on several fronts from the deal. One, the acquisition would help the company acquire a global footprint and enter the high-end premier segment of the global automobile market. After the acquisition, Tata Motors would own the world's cheapest car - the US$ 2,500 Nano, and luxury marquees like the Jaguar and Land Rover. Though there was initial scepticism over an Indian company owning the luxury brands, ownership was not considered a major issue at all. The takeover has been greeted with jubilation, especially in India, because of the prestige of these marquee brands. On the other hand, sceptics have also been wondering how this acquisition fits in with the Tata Group's overall strategy. What can the Tata’s do differently than Ford to ensure that the acquisition pays off? What major challenges will Tata Motors face in integration and marketing? I personally find it a very fascinating deal. It's clearly not a deal that is trying to build economies of scale in just one business and just reach into new markets. It's quite a differently motivated deal. For Tata it's not the first time that they've reached for a brand with some prestige value as part of expanding their global visibility. So I think viewed as an acquisition that they intend to learn a great deal from, it could very well make sense.
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