Car Industry

PSA Group is rumored to be in talks with Tata to buy JLR, report says

With a rough-looking Brexit looming, a change in ownership might do the legendary British brands some good, if it actually happens.

Jaguar and Land Rover could end up with new French owners if rumors are to be believed.

Jaguar

Right now, Jaguar Land Rover is owned in its entirety by Indian company Tata -- best known in this country for making the Tata Nano, which was the cheapest new car in the world when it came out, though we never got it in the US.

Tata's ownership of JLR has had its ups and downs, and the word 'round the campfire -- according to a Reuters report Thursday -- is that it's considering selling off the British brands and the PSA Group (home of Peugeot and Citroën) is interested in buying.

Now, both companies have denied publicly that they're in talks, but that doesn't mean that it's not happening on the sly. The rumors caused PSA stock to jump a little when the report was published, though they fell again shortly after.

"As a matter of policy, we do not comment on media speculation. But we can confirm there is no truth to these rumors," a representative from Tata Motors told us on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover.

The PSA Group most recently acquired Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors and has also been at the center of other rumors of acquisitions, this time with Fiat Chrysler. Both in that instance and with the JLR speculation, PSA has signaled its willingness to party, figuratively speaking.

"By principle, we are open to opportunities that would create value on a long-term basis for Groupe PSA and its shareholders," a PSA Group representative told us. "But based on our 2018 financial results, there is no hurry to finalize any partnership."

So, what would a PSA Group buyout mean for the storied British brands? It's tough to say, but given that JLR is currently staring down the barrel of Brexit, and its owner posted a $4 billion loss for its fiscal quarter that ended on Dec. 31 of last year, any help would likely be welcome.

Originally published May 9.
Updates, May 9.: Adds Tata and JLR's official denial; May 10: Adds PSA Group's official statement.