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'Tata takeover a turning point in car industry'

Tata's takeover of Jaguar and Land Rover will be a key turning point in the car industry's history, automobile experts say.

autos Updated: Apr 04, 2008 14:56 IST

Tata's takeover of Jaguar and Land Rover will be a key turning point in the car industry's history, automobile experts say.

Coventry-based Nick Seale of the Warwick Manufacturing Group believes that the takeover will also be of global and historic significance.

Seale said: "When the history of the motor industry is written, they will look back on this event as one of the key turning points.

"The Indian purchase of two of the strongest brands in the world car industry is really significant because the industry, 20 years from now will be very different, and if I was a betting man I will say India will be a major player."

He told the Coventry Evening Telegraph: "The US companies have been world leaders for 50 years now but they are experiencing difficulties. The Japanese have risen and out of the Japanese/US power struggle we've suddenly got the emerging world of India and China becoming a real force.

"An Indian company buying two of the world's largest brands is really significant and it will be a turning point. Although there's going to be no visible change in the short term, it's a really significant move.

"I've been doing some work with a motorcycle company in India and India is absolutely fascinating from an industrialisation point of view. Indian companies are going to be increasingly powerful in the world."

According to Seale, Ford had "sold off a really good business", and added that it was not Tata's style to come in heavy handed and make sweeping changes which is excellent.

Jaguar-Land Rover could also benefit from Tata's business portfolio, which is spread across an array of sectors from IT, services to tea production and steel with more than 289,000 people in its workforce in 80 countries, Seale added.

"One of the strengths of Tata is they have such a broad industry portfolio which is protective in terms of world changes in industry. You are not tied in to the motor industry. It's really an exciting time and is fascinating to see all these things going on. Tata are in it for a very long time," Seale said.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown echoed Seale's optimism this week during his visit to Coventry.

Brown said: "The important thing is we continue to safeguard jobs in the future and what the Tata company has said is they will invest in Jaguar Land Rover and still maintain apprenticeships in the area and will invest in new technologies of the future.

"And so for the 16,000 people who depend on Jaguar Land Rover the future is, as Tata says, one we can safeguard by everybody working together to make this a great success."