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Ford in talks with Tata over Jaguar, Land Rover sale

American carmaker confirms that it is in "substantive discussions" with the largest Indian automaker over the sale of two of its luxury brand subsidiaries.

Ford confirmed Thursday that the company is considering an offer to sell its Jaguar and Land Rover subsidiaries to Tata Motors of India.

"Ford is committed to focused negotiations at a more detailed level with Tata Motors concerning the potential sale of the combined Jaguar-Land Rover business," Lewis Booth, an executive vice president at Ford, said in a statement.

"There is still a considerable amount of work to do, and while no final decision has been made, we will proceed with further substantive discussions with Tata Motors over the forthcoming weeks with a view to securing an agreement that is in the best interests of all parties concerned," said Booth, who oversees Ford's Premier Automotive Group businesses and is also the chairman of Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, and Ford of Europe.

"We can confirm that we have had positive discussions so far with Ford, concerning the possible purchase of Jaguar (and) Land Rover, and we are now entering a period of more focused and detailed negotiations with Ford," a Tata Motors representative said in an e-mailed statement. "We hope both parties can reach an agreement in the forthcoming weeks, though these are complex discussions, and there is still much work that needs to be done before that position is reached."

"We are pleased by the progress in the discussions to date and very positive about the prospects of this business, going forward," the Tata representative said.

Reports have put the deal at between $1.5 billion and $2 billion dollars, though neither Ford nor Tata has not confirmed any number.

Land Rover's Range Rover Sport Land Rover USA

Tata, which claims to be the largest automaker in India, posted revenue of $7.2 billion in its 2006-2007 financial report.

The company is part of the Tata Group, one of India's largest conglomerates. Founded by Jamsetji Tata in the mid-1800s, the Tata Group companies, which include Tata Steel, Tata Tea, and Indian Hotels, among others, employ about 290,000 people worldwide.

The Tata Group stated 2006-2007 revenue to be $28.8 billion, roughly 3.2 percent of India's GDP, according to company statistics.