The long-shelved Jaguar F-Type sports car, which debuted at the 2000 North American International Auto Show, appears to have secured the backing of Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata, whose company is expected to take ownership of Jaguar and Land Rover within the next two weeks.
Speaking to journalists at the Geneva motor show on Tuesday, Tata said of the two-seater, “I’d be delighted if we have one in the range.” Smiling to journalists as he was questioned about the car, Tata said, “I do have a strong view about it,” leaving listeners without doubt that he has interest in getting the F-Type into production.
Tata also said that Jaguar’s and Land Rover’s future model programs had the backing of the Tata Group.
Funding for Jaguar’s and Land Rover’s new model programs was included in the due diligence process the Tata Group and its advisors are completing ahead of the purchase, Ratan Tata said.
“This capital expenditure is part of the due diligence and it is not a problem in the due diligence,” he said.
Tata added the new models for Jaguar and Land Rover presented to the Tata buyout team had won his support. “What we see, we like and the technologies are very impressive,” he said.
Jaguar and Land Rover will make major product investments over the next five years.
Jaguar is in the midst of reskinning the XJ sedan and has plans to expand its lineup with the F-Type and an XF coupe. In the longer term, a four-door XK and crossover SUV are under consideration.
Land Rover is planning a radical switch to aluminum body construction for the next Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The LRX small SUV is headed for production at Solihull.
Source: Julian Rendell – Autoweek