Page last updated at 05:10 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 06:10 UK

Pledge to invest in car companies

Ravi Kant

Bosses of the Indian car firm Tata Motors have said the company will not shy away from making major investments in Jaguar and Land Rover.

Tata bought the two businesses from Ford last month in a 1.7bn deal. Land Rover remains profitable but Ford has never made money from Jaguar.

Tata managing director, Ravi Kant, said it was in for the "long haul" and would do "whatever would be required".

The firm said changes would be made if existing business plans did not work.

'Lot of feedback'

Jaguar and Land Rover employ about 16,000 staff at UK plants in the West Midlands and Merseyside.

In the exclusive interview with the BBC, Mr Kant told Midlands transport correspondent Peter Plisner that his company would continue to invest in new models.


Extended interview: Ravi Kant spoke exclusively to the BBC

He said: "Whatever would be required for the upliftment of these plans for the sustained profitability of the plan we will be doing it because it's a company owned by us."

Following much speculation about a modern revival of the old iconic E-Type Jaguar, Mr Kant refused to talk about the exact nature of planned future models, but did not rule out the prospect of a new E-Type.

He said: "We have taken a lot of feedback and from people who are knowledgeable about this.

"We are putting it all together and we will try to work out things that will be in the best interests of the company."

When it bought the two brands from Ford, Tata pledged to leave the existing management and workforce in place and signed up to the companies' existing business plans.

Luxury brands

Mr Kant said: "If the economy assumptions are not as per the plan, if the price assumptions are not as per the plan or the cost assumptions do not come out as per the plan then the plans will have to be looked at."

Expressing confidence it can return Jaguar to profit, Tata cited its experience in Korea where it now owns the truck firm Daewoo.

Mr Kant made it clear it would be following the same principles.

He also maintained his company would own the Jaguar and Land Rover brands for a long time.

Kant said: "We are there for the long haul. We are not some people who have come here for two quarters or three quarters.

"We understand the automobile business and we are going to be there for good."

The two companies have sites at Solihull and Castle Bromwich, near Birmingham, Whitley in Coventry, Gaydon in Warwickshire and Halewood on Merseyside.

They were being sold for 1.15bn with Ford paying 600m into the pension fund of the luxury brands.

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