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

Jaguar Land Rover launches new car body development cycle
Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover launches new car body development cycle

JLR has entered a two-year material testing programme that will hopefully produce harder-wearing body panels for its future cars
21 Oct 2020
Peugeot launches official restoration service for heritage vehicles
News

Peugeot launches official restoration service for heritage vehicles

Peugeot is currently rebuilding a 205 GTi to original specification – and the service will be open to the public from early 2021
15 Oct 2020
Jaguar Land Rover launches cabin noise cancelling system
News

Jaguar Land Rover launches cabin noise cancelling system

System from Jaguar Land Rover works similar to active noise cancelling on a pair of high-end headphones, to reduce wind and tyre noise
9 Oct 2020
Next generation Jaguar Land Rover interiors to be made from recycled plastic waste
Jaguar

Next generation Jaguar Land Rover interiors to be made from recycled plastic waste

Econyl - the popular recycled nylon textile - is coming to future Jaguar Land Rover interiors
28 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Renault could cut UK models in no deal Brexit profit drive
News

Renault could cut UK models in no deal Brexit profit drive

Renault’s new CEO says the firm is examining the possibility of reducing the range of models it offers to UK buyers as it aims to boost profitability
20 Oct 2020
The end of 70mph motorways? Study shows huge reduction in pollution at 50mph
Speed limit to be cut to 60mph on M1
News

The end of 70mph motorways? Study shows huge reduction in pollution at 50mph

Trial on Welsh roads shows 47 per cent drop in pollution when 50mph limits were introduced; Highways England already has plans to reduce limits to tac…
10 Oct 2020
New Range Rover Evoque PHEV 2020 review
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

New Range Rover Evoque PHEV 2020 review

Brand-new 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine makes its debut in the new Range Rover Evoque plug-in hybrid
20 Oct 2020