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Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) is rumoured to be talking to Ford about the possibility of buying Jaguar and Land Rover.

The fact that the Chinese automotive giant is interested in the two West Midlands-based units of Ford's Premier Automotive Group has trickled down to Tier One sup-pliers to Ford, a source told The Birmingham Post.

"SAIC seems to be a credible candidate to buy both Jaguar and Land Rover because the luxury car sector is booming in China as the country gets richer," he said.

"Not only that, China is seen as a base for getting Jaguars and Land Rovers in Australasia and Japan in greater number."

Neither Ford nor SAIC could be contacted for comment, but speculation about the future ownership of Jaguar and Land Rover has been rife ever since Ford announced earlier this month that it had appointed advisers to look at a raft of options for the two businesses. These are believed to include an outright sale or a joint venture deal with a partner to share the cost of developing new models.

As a perennial loss-maker, Jaguar has long been regarded as a candidate for a sell-off as Ford fights to rebuild its fortunes in the wake of falling sales and heavy cash losses in the US.

The company, which builds three of its four models at its Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham

following the closure of its historic Browns Lane site in Coventry, is believed to be on the verge of making money after abandoning its ill-fated move into the volume end of the luxury car market in favour of selling high-spec, high-margin cars in fewer numbers.
 

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Land Rover/ Jag are seen as Iconic UK car brands. If SAIC want it then they will end up committing to UK car production, or I suspect the Government may consider paying someone like Mercedes to buy it if necessary. SAIC should do it, but they will need to think on a global level and they will need to figure out how to fill UK capacity. Relaunching Rover could be usefull.

Remember these are massive brands in the history of car making.
 
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