Report: Tata in Talks about JLR Sale

Steve Plumb

India’s Tata Group has made overtures to other carmakers—including BMW AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group—about divesting at least part of its struggling Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. unit.

Sources tell Bloomberg News such discussions are preliminary and may not result in any deal. Geely claims it hasn’t had any talks with either Tata or JLR. BMW and Tata decline to comment.

Last month Tata Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran told Bloomberg he would consider adding a minority partner in JLR. But he said there were no plans to relinquish control in the business or sell it outright.

Tata, which acquired JLR from Ford in 2008, has written down its investment in the British company by £3.1 billion ($4 billion).

Plagued by slumping sales and uncertainties about the impact of the U.K. leaving the European Union, JLR began a major cost-cutting initiative late last year. Partnering with another carmaker would aid the company’s recovery, allowing JLR to share resources and development costs.

In June, BMW and JLR agreed to share electrified drivetrains based on BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive technology. The two companies also may collaborate on piston engines and a front-wheel-drive platform for hybrid crossover vehicles, according to previous reports.

Partnering with Geely could help jumpstart JLR’s marketing efforts in China, where the company has struggled to gain a foothold, Bloomberg notes.