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‘No truth’ to PSA Group takeover rumours, says JLR owner Tata Motors

An Inchcape JLR Arch Concept dealership facility

Jaguar Land Rover has said that there is ‘no truth’ to rumours that it was on the verge of an acquisition by French car manufacturing giant, the PSA Group.

JLR issued an official statement regarding a potential tie up with the Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles owners, which also added Vauxhall to its roll call of brands early last year, after the Press Association said that it had uncovered evidence that a “post-sale integration document” had been passed around senior executives at the companies.

In a statement, Tata Motors said: “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on media speculation. But we can confirm there is no truth to these rumours.”

A spokeswoman for PSA Group said the company was “open to all opportunities that would create value on a long-term basis”, but added there was “no hurry” for PSA to make an acquisition of JLR or any other carmaker.

Just last month PSA Group was linked with a potential new partnership with the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Jeep-owning FCA Group.

Quoted by Reuters at the time, however, PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares said: “If there is an opportunity, we will consider but we don’t have to target any specific company and specifically not the one you mentioned."

Back in February JLR announced record quarterly losses after it was forced to write-down the value of its investments by £3.1 billion as Chinese demand slumped.

During the same month the British premium carmaker announced plans to cut 4,500 jobs from its global workforce in a bid to deliver £2.5 billion worth of cost-cutting measures amid the downturn in Chinese sales, the decline in diesel sales and concerns surrounding Brexit.

The situation has caused many industry commentators to speculate that Tata Motors may be open to a bid by PSA, which appears to have overseen a swift turnaround of the ailing profits at the recently-acquired Vauxhall and Opel brands with a strategy which included the closure of around a third of its UK dealership network.

Suggestions of a potential tie-up between JLR and PSA could prove to be a source of anxiety for Jaguar and Land Rover retailers who may fear any repercussions on a network which has demanded investment of over £1 billion to meet strict new Arch Concept corporate identity standards in recent years.

JLR has just under 40,000 employees worldwide and made revenues of £24.6 billion in 2018, but it is dwarfed by PSA which achieved a £64 billion in the same period.

The Guardian today (May 10) reported that Tavares had last month made it clear in an interview that he would consider a bid for JLR, among other carmakers, but added that he did not want such a deal to be a “distraction”.

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