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Tata Buys Jaguar, Land Rover Brands

Ford Motor and the Indian automaker reached an agreement under which U.S. automaker will sell its luxury brands to Tata for $2.3 billion.

NEW YORK (Kyodo) -- Ford Motor Co. of the United States and Tata Motors Ltd. of India said Wednesday they have reached an agreement under which Ford will sell its luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata for $2.3 billion.
The transfer of ownership is expected to close by the end of the next quarter, the two automakers said in a press release, adding Ford will then contribute up to about $600 million to the Jaguar Land Rover pension plans.
''We are very pleased at the prospect of Jaguar and Land Rover being a significant part of our automotive business,'' Ratan N. Tata, chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, said in a statement.
''Jaguar and Land Rover are terrific brands. We are confident that they are leaving our fold with the products, plan and team to continue to thrive under Tata's stewardship,'' Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford, said.
''Now, it is time for Ford to concentrate on integrating the Ford brand globally, as we implement our plan to create a strong Ford Motor Company that delivers profitable growth for all,'' Mulally added.
Struggling Ford is planning to press ahead with its restructuring efforts while Tata hopes to boost its overseas operations and acquire state-of-the-art technology from abroad, industry analysts say.
''As part of the transaction, Ford will continue to supply Jaguar Land Rover for differing periods with powertrains, stampings and other vehicle components, in addition to a variety of technologies, such as environmental and platform technologies,'' the statement said. ''Ford also has committed to provide engineering support, including research and development, plus information technology, accounting and other services.''
Jaguar Land Rover's employees, trades unions and the British government have been kept informed of developments as the sale process progressed and have indicated their support for the agreement, the two automakers said.
Ford and Tata reportedly agreed to keep the British workforce unchanged at around 16,000.
Ford acquired Jaguar for $2.5 billion in 1989 after fierce competition with General Motors Corp. and other manufacturers, and Land Rover for $2.75 billion from BMW in 2000.
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