DEARBORN, Mich., April 20, 2008 – Geoff Polites, chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover, has died peacefully in his home country of Australia. He was 60. Mr. Polites, who is credited with leading the team that returned the Jaguar Land Rover business back to profitability and successfully steering it through its ongoing sale process to Tata Motors, had been battling serious illness for the past two years. “Geoff’s untimely passing robs his family and friends of a man who was a real inspiration to us all,” said Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company. “His drive and determination, combined with his clear sense of vision for the business, played a huge role in turning round the business at Jaguar Land Rover and returning it to profitability. Geoff ensured that Jaguar Land Rover was not distracted and […]
IT IS not a case of if, but when Land Rover will build its smallest off-roader. The LRX Concept was shown at the Melbourne Motor Show last month and Land Rover flew in its chief designer Julian Thomson for the presentation. He said the four-seater LRX “cross coupe” would go into production in three to four years and would look very similar to the show car. The LRX is smaller than a Freelander and features a rising waistline, no B pillar, a space-age interior with LED lights in the carpet which is made from recycled drink bottles, and it is powered by a hybrid electric/bio-diesel powerplant. “The exterior is close to what we will have in production – the mirrors will have to be bigger – but much of it will go into production,” Thomson said. “Car design is really […]
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.
Ford Motor has no plans to keep a stake in its Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands, an industry source told Automotive News Europe. Ford earlier this month picked Tata Motors as the front-runner to the purchase of the two brands. It had been thought that Ford would wish to keep a stake in Jaguar-Land Rover to protect its supply contracts for components such as engines. “There is no need for it,” the source said. “Ford really wants to concentrate on its North American operations, that is the whole reason why it is selling Jaguar and Land Rover.” Retaining a stake, however small, would only divert management time from the North American turnaround plan, the source said. By John Revill, Automotive News, Europe