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Jaguar Land Rover in talks to buy Aston Martin

Fri, 16 Nov 2012

Talks have taken place between Tata – owners of Jaguar Land Rover – and the Kuwait Investment Dar – owners of Aston Martin.

We reported a year ago that Aston Martin needed a big car maker behind it to have any chance of survival, and just last week the world caught up with that story as it was revealed the Kuwait Investment Dar – majority shareholder in Aston Martin – was seeking a buyer for Aston Martin.

We said a year ago that Jaguar Land Rover was the best fit as a buyer for Aston Martin, but we doubted JLR would want to go back to being the poor relation to AML – as it was in the days of Ford’ ownership of the brands – where a Jag was a poor man’s Aston.

But the Birmingham Post – JLR and AML’s ‘local’ newspaper – is reporting that high level talks have taken place between Tata and the Investment Dar as a sale looks imminent. But whether that sale will be to JLR, or to India’s other automotive acquisitor, Mahindra and Mahindra, is still in doubt. Even Toyota are claimed to be in the race to take Aston Martin home with Chinese companies in the mix too.

The Birmingham Post asked Automotive expert Professor David Bailey of the International Business Strategy and Economics at Coventry University what he thought. Professor Bailey said:

In terms of who would strategically be the best fit, Tata would be ideal in terms of a tie-up with Jaguar Land Rover. My preference would be for Tata and it would make for a powerful premium group of companies they could share technology across.

And he’s dead right. The Jaguar F-Type underpinning the next Aston Martin Vantage, the next Jaguar XK underpinning a replacement for the DB9 and Land Rover’s new Range Rover underpinning a new Lagonda SUV – never mind the XJ as a basis for a Lagonda Super Saloon – is an enticing prospect.

Add to that the sheer logistics – Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin Lagonda share a facility at Gaydon – and you have a compelling argument for Tata adding AML to its Automotive portfolio – depending on the Dar asking sensible money for their stake in AML

But we can’t imagine Jaguar are thrilled at the prospect.

By Cars UK