Back from the brink: The Jaguar Land Rover story
Most termed it Ratan Tata’s vanity play when he acquired the marquee brand in the UK. Two years later, JLR’s performance has gone beyond everyone’s expectations.
When Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata announced the acquisition of British luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in 2008, it was widely dismissed as a vanity play. Most analysts thought the losing British luxury carmaker was an unnecessary burden for a company which should focus more on its vast home market.
The unhappiness was evident at last year’s Tata Motors annual general meeting when shareholders questioned Tata about the wisdom of paying $2.3 billion for acquiring the two brands, which had caused a $10 billion loss to Ford Motor Company, their erstwhile owner.
To make matters worse, the economic meltdown happened immediately after Tata Motors took over JLR, which went into a major downturn and started sucking a lot of cash. Tatas had to put in $1.5 billion to keep it up.