Jaguar heads for Indian ownership

The Indian industrial conglomerate, Tata, has emerged as the favourite to buy British car makers Jaguar and Land Rover

Ford, the US giant that has put the two brands up for sale, has confirmed that it is "committed to focused negotiations at a more detailed level with Tata Motors".

However, it is also reported that more detailed discussions are needed before a final decision on the sale can be made by Ford.

Tata now appears to have moved ahead of rival bidders including buyout group One Equity Partners and another Indian car maker, Mahindra & Mahindra.

According to industry reports, Tata plans few immediate changes at Jaguar and Land Rover, with the UK operations and model plans kept intact.

Separately, Tata Motors is planning to unveil what could be the world's cheapest car. The "one lakh" car (one lakh equals 100,000 rupees or about £1,200) is mainly for the Indian market. It has a steel chassis and plastic body panels, and is powered by a 660cc two-cylinder engine.

Image: Ford hoists 'for sale' sign over Land Rover and Jaguar

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