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Jaguar-Land Rover parent company reportedly approached BMW, Geely for partnership

Tata, which owns both British brands, supposedly wants to help save costs on electric vehicle development.

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Could BMW or Geely help turn JLR around? That remains to be seen.

Land Rover

The automotive industry has rapidly changed in the past five years, and all signs point to even greater changes in the years to come. See, autonomous cars and electric vehicles are two major hurdles changing the industry as we know it.

Along the way, it's become increasingly difficult for some of the industry's smaller players to stay in the game, and even some of the largest are heeding warning signs and signing up for all-out mergers, like the proposed Fiat Chrysler and PSA tie-up. Now, it sounds as if India's Tata is looking for a similar slice of action, according to a Bloomberg report Tuesday.

The publication cited sources close to discussions inside Tata that shared that the automaker is looking for partners to help both Jaguar and Land Rover stick it out in the future. The overarching goal, according to these sources, is a familiar one: to save on the costs of developing electric cars.

These discussions are reportedly in an early stage, but Bloomberg named two potential candidates Tata has sized up. Both BMW and Geely were named in the report as two automakers Tata approached with Jaguar and Land Rover as carrots for its stick. Geely and Tata did not immediately return requests for comment. BMW declined to comment on the report.

Geely did, however, tell Bloomberg there have been zero discussions with Tata. The Chinese automaker has scored a variety of automakers in recent years and worked with a rather hands-off approach with much-needed injections of cash. Geely, if you didn't know, owns Volvo and Lotus.

The BMW ties seems slightly more logical as Jaguar-Land Rover and the German marque have already agreed to collaborate on both traditional powertrains and electric powertrains in the future. None of the options include selling the two British brands, N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata, told Bloomberg previously in an interview last month.

Tata has already enacted large-scale cost-saving measures for both divisions to the tune of $3.2 billion.

Originally published Nov. 12, 8:33 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:56 a.m.: Updated to reflect that BMW declined to comment.

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