Is another partnership in the works?
Jaguar Land Rover knows it has to shift towards electrification if it wants to survive since the Indian-owned UK company is currently dealing with declining sales and increasing financial woes. In order to help lower the cost to develop new powertrains and technology, JLR has partnered with BMW to design and produce electric drivetrains as well as gasoline and diesel engines with hybridization. This partnership may even involve future JLR vehicles riding on BMW platforms, much like the Toyota Supra does. But it a partnership with BMW alone may not be enough.
Speaking with Autocar, Tata Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said, "Like any other auto company, JLR has to invest in future technologies to address the move away from [internal combustion engines] to hybrid and electric. It also has to invest in future models, make necessary investments in areas like shared mobility, and also beyond that. That's very important to stay alive in this ecosystem."
Chandrasekaran went on to say, "All this means is there is a need for capital investment if you want to be future-ready. The only way to handle this need for [capital investment] is additional investment through partnerships because we want to spread the investment. There are many discussions underway, from tactical to strategic."
The details about what will emerge from the JLR-BMW partnership have yet to be fully fleshed out, but JLR parent company Tata may not be finished looking for potential partners. When asked about future partnerships beyond BMW, Chandrasekaran said, "These opportunities keep coming and we keep evaluating every one of these opportunities and as long as it is in the interest of Tata Motors, we will forge such partnerships so that we are able to address the capex."
So even though JLR already signed a deal with BMW, it doesn't mean the company won't be open to additional partnerships. Tata has been rumored to be in talks to sell JLR to the French PSA Group, although the company has publicly denied these claims. The refreshed F-Type is rumored to drop its current 5.0-liter supercharged V8 in favor of a twin-turbo BMW unit, which would be an interesting way to kick off the company's partnership with BMW.