BMW, Geely Approached By Tata In Search For Jaguar Land Rover Partners

Tata Group, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, has reportedly approached BMW and Geely as it scans the industry for potential partners of the UK car maker.

The report comes from Bloomberg, which cites people familiar with the matter. Tata has been searching for partners for Jaguar Land Rover and the discussions are said to be in an early stage and Tata could still approach other car makers for a potential partnership, according to the sources.

Related: Jaguar Land Rover Needs A New Partner – Not A Buyer, Says Tata Chairman

Pairing Jaguar Land Rover with a Chinese car maker could prove to be very beneficial for the UK company in the world’s largest market, where sales collapsed by 50 percent last year and Tata had to write down their investment by $3.9 billion.

Jaguar Land Rover already has a relationship with BMW in the development of engines and electrification technologies so deepening their ties sounds simpler but last August BMW’s former CEO Harald Krueger ruled out any equity investment.

We still don’t know how Geely and BMW responded to Tata’s proposal; the Chinese automaker denied that there are any talks “with Tata or JLR” while both BMW and Tata declined to comment.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle for any potential partner with Jaguar Land Rover is the company’s financial troubles; Tata has already begun addressing some of them, offering a $910 million equity infusion to improve JLR’s balance sheet.

The UK automaker has also struggled with problems in China surrounding the quality of its vehicles and its dealership network. Sales in the region have been stabilized however, helping Tata to post a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.

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