Ford looking to sell Jaguar, Land Rover

Ford Motor Co. is in the process of selling Jaguar and Land Rover, according to Ford CEO Alan Mullaly.  The Associated Press is reporting the American car manufacturer is in active discussions with potential buyers.

Although Mullaly has not revealed the names of any potential buyers, India’s Tata Motors is believed to be in contention.

Ford, which sold off a majority stake in Aston Martin for $925 million in March 2007, has been aggressively trying to refocus their efforts.  The American company has lost ground to Japanese car maker Toyota, which is on pace to sell more cars in the States this year than Ford.

The Dearborn, Michigan, based company suffered a 2006 net loss of $12.7 billion, and they are not expected to be profitable until 2009.

Jaguar may be more difficult to sell than Aston Martin or Land Rover.  The newly released Jaguar XF is so critical to that division’s success, that its failure may sink them.  The XF is a modern move for Jaguar, which has hung its hat on its retro heritage for the last four decades.  That car goes on sale in March 2008.

Ford is also rumored to be looking for someone to buy up the Volvo car division, but the U.S. corporation has denied those statements.  Just last week, newspapers in Sweden were calling Volvo AB, the owner of Volvo trucks and original owner of Volvo cars, a potential bidder for the automotive division.

In response, Volvo AB CEO Leif Johansson told Bloomberg News, “We are of course very concerned and interested in what happens with Volvo cars, but not such that we would be an investor there."

Regardless of who buys these brands from Ford, their sale and price is most important to the automaker.  The sale of Aston Martin is credited with giving Ford their first profitable quarter since 2005.  A sale of Jaguar and Land Rover, which could bring in over $1.5 billion, should give Ford a little more to cheer about.

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