Jaguar Land Rover mulls acquisition of other luxury carmakers or tech companies

Article by Christian A., on September 27, 2017

When an auto manufacturer as large as Jaguar Land Rover has already filled its coffers, and has the backing of one of the largest conglomerates in the world, it could be time for it to expand its reach beyond its current scope. According to Automotive News Europe, citing people privy with the matter, Jaguar Land Rover is eyeing certain acquisitions that might advance its capabilities and offerings down the road.

As reported, the British carmaker owned by Tata Motors – or ultimately by the Tata Group -- is holding internal discussions over acquiring other luxury brands to further diversify its vehicle range. Hoping to acquire international carmakers, Jaguar Land Rover might soon find itself producing and selling another luxury brand. However, Jaguar Land Rover would only be acquiring a luxury brand that would fit its current portfolio, one of the sources told Automotive News Europe.

Likewise, the British carmaker might acquire a tech company that could boost its capabilities in the fields of electrified vehicles and autonomous driving systems, another source told Automotive News Europe. Currently, the brands under Jaguar Land Rover don’t offer any electric vehicle or even a plug-in hybrid unit. That ends next year when Jaguar Land Rover finally introduces the fully electric Jaguar I-PACE, with the carmaker already receiving 25,000 orders for the new EV. Earlier this month though, Jaguar Land Rover announced that it will go green starting 2020 – all of its new vehicles would only be electric or hybrid models by the turn of the decade. Acquiring a tech company with expertise on this field would surely confirm Jaguar Land Rover’s go-green commitment.

Senior officials at Tata Group think that Jaguar Land Rover needs to become larger in order to remain competitive in the auto industry. If Jaguar Land Rover does acquire a new company, it would be the first time that it did so since it was purchased by Tata Motors in 2008 for $2.4 billion.

As for the possible acquisition candidates, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is rumored to be mulling a plan to spin off its Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands as it focuses its energy on mass-market offerings. Volkswagen Group is also reportedly considering selling its non-core assets, including its Ducati motorcycle brand.

As to how Jaguar Land Rover would finance its new acquisitions, ultimate parent Tata Group is more than willing to offer financial support if needed, one of the sources disclosed. As of June 30, 2017, Tata Group had INR397.6 billion ($6.1 billion) of cash and equivalents, which is around 87-percent more than it had at the end of June 2016. This means that Jaguar Land Rover would be more than ready to acquire new companies once it decides to do so.

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