Tata Motors will announce its purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover on March 5 or 6.
The dates have been agreed between Tata and Ford Motor Co., which is selling the two luxury brands, following talks with union leaders last week.
Roger Maddison, national officer of Unite, the largest union in the UK auto industry, told Automotive News Europe that Tata had agreed to meet guarantees sought by union leaders.
He said, “Everything seems fine as far as we are concerned; it’s just the lawyers working on it now.”
Union leaders spoke with Ford and Tata to resolve final details before the drawing up of a memorandum of understanding for the sale.
In earlier talks with the two companies, unions had been seeking assurances that Tata would continue to source engines, stampings and other systems from Ford’s plants in Bridgend in Wales and Dagenham, near London.
All Jaguar and Land Rover engines come from Ford plants, as do many of Land Rover’s stampings.
While Ford would not comment officially on the planned announcement date, insiders confirmed to ANE that March 5 or 6 were “not too far off track.”
A Ford source ruled out any kind of announcement at next week’s Geneva motor show, where the first press day is on Tuesday, March 4.
At Geneva, Ford is launching a new version of its second-biggest seller, the Fiesta small car.
The source said an announcement of a deal with Tata would be held back to avoid overshadowing the debut of this key new model.
“The sooner everything goes through, the better,” said Maddison. “The work forces are beginning to get anxious.”
Source: Autoweek by Tony Lewin