So Ford has finally admitted what we suspected: that Tata is in the hot seat to buy Jaguar and Land Rover.
Over the weekend there's been plenty of reservations expressed about an Indian company buying our 'crown jewels,' but Tata buying J-LR is nothing but a good thing. Why? Because it's already in the car-making business and it's got a great track record in turning around businesses with a light touch. Witness what its done with Corus (British Steel). There are also signs that it's got plenty of money to invest.
Of course you may argue that there are better buyers for J-LR, notably the One Equity group spearheaded by Jac Nasser, a former Ford boss and the architect of the current J-LR set-up. But reassuring as it may be for such a talented car guy to be re-installed at the Warwickshire HQ, it still smacks of fighting old battles rather than looking to the future.
For me, there's only one question mark: can Tata steer upmarket brands properly? But as long as it retains enough of the talent currently at Jaguar and Land Rover, is that really anything to worry about?