JLR boss stops short of denying PSA takeover rumours

Leaked documents suggest PSA could buy JLR. Boss Dr Ralf Speth says he has not discussed a sale but doesn't deny moves are afoot

Land Rover Discovery - off-road

Jaguar Land Rover boss Dr Ralf Speth has insisted that he has not discussed any sale of his company to PSA with the French giant’s chief Carlos Tavares - but he has stopped short of quashing increasing speculation that the British brands could soon face a change of ownership.

Reports last week suggested that PSA is keen to acquire the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from existing owner Tata, in a bid to widen its portfolio to include more premium vehicles. Speaking at the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit, Jaguar Land Rover boss Dr Ralf Speth said that he “couldn’t confirm discussions” - but he declined to deny that any talks had taken place.

“I meet Carlos Tavares at an ACEA [European car manufacturer’s association] meeting,” Speth said, “but we didn’t have any discussion about ownership.”

When asked more directly if he knew of any talks between PSA and Tata, Speth replied, “There are rumours, but I cannot really confirm any of these discussions.”

The story first broke when a leaked “post-sale integration document”, seen by Press Association (PA), highlighted the benefits of a union between the two companies, with insiders at JLR telling PA that “things are moving quickly behind closed doors". The source added: "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.

A statement from PSA said the company was in “no hurry” to buy JLR, but that "If an opportunity comes, like Opel (Vauxhall), we will consider it." PSA, which is 13.68 per cent owned by the French Government, has had significant success since buying Opel/Vauxhall from General Motors, with Opel/Vauxhall bringing in an €859 million profit in 2018, compared with the €257 million loss it made in 2016 when it was owned by General Motors.

JLR’s parent company, Tata Motors, however, told PA that: "there was no truth to rumours that Tata Motors is looking to divest its stake in JLR".

Suggestions that Jaguar Land Rover could be sold follow the firm posting a £273-million loss in the final quarter of 2018, and downgrading the value of assets by £3.1 billion. The recent success of the electric Jaguar I-Pace and all-new Range Rover Evoque have done much to lift JLR’s profile, as has the introduction of more plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid models, but they come off the back of a downturn in the company’s key Chinese market, and slow-selling models like the Jaguar XE and Land Rover Discovery.

Would a takeover by PSA be good for JLR? Have your say in the comments...

Recommended

Land Rover extends partnership with Virgin Galactic to 2024
Land Rover Virgin Galactic
Land Rover

Land Rover extends partnership with Virgin Galactic to 2024

Land Rover will continue to support the world’s first “spaceline,” providing vehicles to ferry future astronauts to their flights
30 Mar 2021
Jaguar Land Rover reveals prototype Covid-inhibiting cabin filtration system
Jaguar Land Rover cabin filtration system
Jaguar

Jaguar Land Rover reveals prototype Covid-inhibiting cabin filtration system

In-car harmful bacteria and viruses reduced by 97 percent through Panasonic’s nanoe X technology
16 Mar 2021
Jaguar Land Rover SVO chief: Electrification no obstacle to JLR personalisation
Jaguar SVO
News

Jaguar Land Rover SVO chief: Electrification no obstacle to JLR personalisation

Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division is planning for an electric future
12 Mar 2021
Six decades of the Jaguar E-Type marked by new 60 Collection cars
Jaguar E-Type 60 Collection
Jaguar

Six decades of the Jaguar E-Type marked by new 60 Collection cars

A fully restored coupe and roadster recreate the E-Types unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show
12 Mar 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased
New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased
Volkswagen Transporter

New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased

Next-generation Volkswagen Transporter T7 will break cover later this year with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain
14 Apr 2021
New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750
Audi Q4 e-tron - front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750

Two body styles, three powertrains and four trim-levels confirmed for Audi’s compact Q4 EV, including a 295bhp quattro option
15 Apr 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and it brings a practical outlook to the EV ownership experience
13 Apr 2021