French automaker PSA Group made a splash when it acquired Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors two years ago, and the company may not be done yet. A new report claims PSA Group is interested in acquiring Jaguar-Land Rover.
India's Tata currently owns JLR, and the company is thought to be dissatisfied with its recent financial performance, The Guardian reported Thursday. The Guardian's report said senior executives at PSA and JLR have been reviewing a “post-sale integration document” that details the potential benefits of a sale. Tata issued a statement outright denying any idea of selling the British luxury brands.
2020 Jaguar XE
However, that doesn't dismiss PSA's potential yearning for JLR. In its own statement, PSA said it's "open to all opportunities," specifically those that create "long-term" value for the automaker. The statement added the French automaker is in "no hurry" for any sort of acquisition at this time.
It's unclear what PSA may see in a potential JLR acquisition, though it could give the company a foothold in the luxury car market. PSA currently operates Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, and Vauxhall. DS serves as its luxury brand, though more established marques like Jaguar and Land Rover could be beneficial, especially Land Rover as the SUV segment continues to boom. Any acquisition by a larger automaker would also help JLR invest in future technologies.
2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque P250 R-Dynamic S
One analyst dismissed a PSA purchase of JLR and said the automaker is likely holding out for a more game-changing merger, such as with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Reports from earlier this year indicated both automakers were open to an alliance, and potentially an all-out merger.
Another possible benefit for PSA would be a U.S. dealer network. The French company has announced plans to return to the U.S. and will need a way to sell cars in this market.
Back at JLR, things are rough. In January, the automaker said it would shed 4,500 jobs. The cuts come after 1,500 jobs were lost at the company last year after JLR introduced a $3.2 billion cost-cutting plan to boost savings and invest in electrification. The UK's undecided Brexit situation hasn't made the situation better. In the U.S., Jaguar sales were down significantly in 2018 but Land Rover sales were up, helping the company tread water overall for the year.