By Nick Aziz
Monday, Jan 28th, 2008 @ 11:02 am
 
Ford might be getting very close to selling Jaguar to India's Tata Group, but top executives at the British automaker remain "entirely relaxed," design director Ian Callum says.



Tata, which is already a major supplier to Jaguar, seems to understand the company well, Callum said. "We have shown Tata our new model lines and the planned product cycle," he told the Financial Times. "The two national cultures appear to fit together very well and Tata is being very respectful about what we are doing."

"Respectful" might not always be the right word to describe Ford's treatment of Jaguar over the years, however. Callum said the unpopular X-Type, for example, was designed mostly in Detroit and presented to Jaguar's reluctant designers and engineers in Britain.

It's worth pointing out the Tata deal has not yet been finalized, and U.S.-based One Equity remains in the bidding. However, if the acquisition by Tata moves ahead, it could be completed by the end of February.