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Super car technology headed for Tata stable

Tata Motor's bid for Jaguar and Land Rover, once through, would bring in a treasure trove of technology to its stable, reports Suprotip Ghosh.

autos Updated: Jan 03, 2008 21:42 IST
Suprotip Ghosh

Tata Motor's bid for Jaguar and Land Rover, once through, would bring in a treasure trove of technology to its stable. The two luxury car marques — Land Rover and Jaguar — currently hold a number of technology patents, including one for a new engine that complies with Euro IV emission norms.



However, the gambit for the two marques has vast amounts of complications regarding intellectual property. Since both the luxury marques have for decades been frontrunners in technology, they have a massive amount of it in their kitty. The successful bidder will have to sign an estimated 40 contracts as part of the takeover, ranging from engine production to the operation of information technology systems.



Other than that, the two brands have tie-ups with a large number of suppliers and vendors who supply them with often sophisticated technology, not just for the cars, but also in manufacturing, such as former Xerox-owned Chrystal Software, which supplies product design and application solutions to Jaguar. The foremost among the tie-ups is a year 2000 agreement with BMW AG that came with the buyout of the two brands, now part of Ford's UK-based Premier Automotive Group (PAG), along with Volvo cars.



BMW AG is the former parent of the two companies. According to this merger agreement of 2000, BMW will continue to provide certain stamping services to the two brands till 2008.



The deal will take care of several potential problems, such as the cost of complying with stricter emissions regulations in Europe and whether the successful bidder will be permitted to use intellectual property belonging to Jaguar and Land Rover in other parts of the group.



The new engine, the TDV8, which was first fitted into the 2007 Range Rover, is a vastly improved version of earlier engines, and this will now be available to the Tatas.