Jaguar Land Rover parent company Tata is in talks with PSA Peugeot Citroen about a long-term technical co-operation, Autocar understands – and it could lead to a platform and engine sharing agreement between the two parties in future.
Talks are believed to have been instigated as a result of Peugeot’s desire to begin manufacturing cars for sale in the Indian market again after a 15-year absence. According to the Economic Times, Peugeot has held talks with Tata, General Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Hindustan Motors - but the first of those firms is now the front-runner.
Tata has spare capacity at its Sanand plant in Gujarat where the Tata Nano is made. Peugeot is believed to want to make the 208, 308 and 3008 in India, and with Nano sales continuing to be well below predictions, Tata has spare factory space.
Tata’s motivation is reported to extend deeper than a need to fill capacity at the Sanand plant, however, with reports suggesting that it is eager to agree a platform and engine deal to extend its product line-up as well.
It is unlikely this would have an impact on Jaguar or Land Rover, however, as expansion plans for both of the British brands are already in place, including a new factory in Slovakia and expanded facilities in the UK.
Although the plan remains subject to ratification, PSA boss Carlos Tavares is said to want PSA’s strategy for the Indian market in place by the end of 2015.
Tata previously aligned with Fiat in the Indian market in 2007, but the relationship folded in 2012.
Peugeot currently has powertrain partnerships with Toyota and Ford, and previously supplied components that were assembled by BMW for its 1.6-litre petrol engine. It also has platform partnerships with General Motors and its part-owner Dongfeng for Asian markets.