How Tata helped Ford by buying Jaguar, Land Rover

How Tata helped Ford by buying Jaguar, Land Rover
Highlights

Ratan Tata and his team faced “humiliation” when they went to sell the group’s fledgling car business to Ford in 1999, but came back to “do a big favour” just nine years later by taking over the American giant’s marquee brands Jaguar and Land Rover.

Mumbai: Ratan Tata and his team faced “humiliation” when they went to sell the group’s fledgling car business to Ford in 1999, but came back to “do a big favour” just nine years later by taking over the American giant’s marquee brands Jaguar and Land Rover.

“They told us ‘you do not know anything, why did you start the passenger car division (Indica) at all’. They said they will do us a favour by buying our car division,” a Tata Group veteran said while recalling a meeting of Ratan Tata and other top executives with Ford officials in Detroit in 1999.
The Tata Motors team decided to return to New York the same evening and Ratan Tata, then the group chairman, was somber throughout the 90-minute flight, said Pravin Kadle, who was part of the team at that time and now heads Tata Capital.
“This was in 1999 and come 2008, the same Ford’s JLR was bought by us. Ford chairman Bill Ford thanked Tata, saying ‘you are doing us a big favour by buying JLR’,” Kadle said, to a thunderous applause after receiving the YB Chavan National Award 2014 on behalf of Ratan Tata, who is now chairman emeritus of the over $100-billion group.
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