Jaguar Land Rover officials are reportedly considering acquiring another luxury brand to diversify the Tata-owned company’s portfolio.
Bloomberg News reported that officials have as much as $6.1 billion in cash and equivalents, as well as the support of Tata management, to add another line to the JLR group. The money could also be used on acquisitions to further the development of the company’s electrification and autonomous technology efforts.
TheDetroitBureau.com spoke to a senior JLR executive who said they were unaware of any such plan, but knowledge of any acquisition could be limited to a very small group of executives.
While no decisions have been made at this point, senior officials at JLR’s ultimate owner Tata Group believe the carmaker needs to expand to stay competitive. The India-based company is prepared to provide financial backing for what it perceives as a good deal.
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Any deal will be the first acquisition by JLR since Tata Motors bought and combined Jaguar and Land Rover for about $2.4 billion in 2008, Bloomberg reported. JLR has been successful since combining, but there is big target floating out there.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV spun off Ferrari earlier this year and many think Maserati and Alfa Romeo could be had as well. FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has been a willing listener to potential deals and offered that parts of the company could be sold off.
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In the meantime, the company’s been focused on its electrification and product expansion efforts. Jaguar has acted on the rising popularity of luxury SUVs by adding the F-Pace and E-Pace utes in the last year. It’s adding a smaller offering named I-Pace, which will also be fully electric.
The I-Pace will anchor another move likely to shock Jaguar traditionalists, Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America noting that “by 2020, all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles launched will be offered with an electric or electrified powertrain option.”
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For the moment, the I-Pace is the only all-electric model in the works for either Jaguar or its Land Rover sibling, but “you can assume” that the underlying platform, unique to that battery-SUV, was designed to be used for other models, a senior JLR official told TheDetroitBureau.com.