Cerberus Interested in Buying Jaguar, Land Rover

by : KatieJones

After losing $12.7 billion last year, Ford is facing financial problems which have led to the sale of the ultra-luxury brand Aston Martin. The European car brand was sold by the Dearborn-based car manufacturer earlier this year to give its financial status a boost. Lately though, the company is still posting reduced sale. This has led the company to put Jaguar and Land Rover in the auction block.

One of the potential buyers for the British brands is the same equity firm that has taken the money-loosing Chrysler from the hands of DaimlerChrysler AG. Cerberus, the private equity firm, is currently ironing out the purchase of 80 percent of the Chrysler Group.

Aside from acquiring Chrysler, Cerberus is reported to be interested in the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. It is reported that the firm has approached Ford concerning the sale of the two British brands. The talks though between the car manufacturer and the private equity firm have not resulted to Cerberus offering to buy the two brands.

Ford has already hired the services of financial firms to come up with a price for the Jaguar and the Land Rover. Merrill Lynch estimated that Ford could bring in as much as $1.5 billion from the sale of the two brands. Other firms and analysts have estimated that Ford can get as much as $8 billion for the British brands.

If Ford would indeed sell the two British brands for $1.5 billion, they will be losing a lot of money in the process. FoMoCo bought the two brands for more than $8 billion and they have already invested a lot in the brands. The losses incurred by both brands in the past years will also haunt Ford if they will sell the two for as low as $1.5 billion.

It is important that Jaguar should be sold alongside Land Rover since both brands are developed by Ford to become interdependent with each other apparently not expecting that they would have to sell them. Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles are even manufactured in the same assembly facility - similar to the way Ford manufactures its vehicles' auto parts. The company manufactures components such as on assembly facilities which also produce Mazda components.

Another issue being looked into the possible sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to Cerberus is how it will complement the Chrysler Group which is already in Cerberus' portfolio. One suggestion is that Land Rover and Jeep vehicles can share the same platform thus reducing production cost. As for Jaguar, it is hard to place it in the Chrysler mix. One possibility though is that Jaguar vehicles can be equipped with the legendary Hemi engines which would surely make waves in the auto performance enthusiasts circle.

Once Jaguar and Land Rover is sold, the Premiere Automotive Group (PAG) will only have Volvo. While the Swedish brand is considered as premium, it is not a luxury car brand. This means that Ford will only be left with Lincoln to compete at the highly profitable luxury car market. The brand is currently being dominated by other luxury brands such as Cadillac, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus. Ford will have to come up with a way to revitalize Lincoln so that it can be a strong contender in the luxury car market. As for Cerberus, taking on car brands which are performing poorly will truly be a challenge.