Geoff Polites, chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover, has died peacefully in his home country of Australia. He was 60.
Mr. Polites, who is credited with leading the team that returned the Jaguar Land Rover business back to profitability and successfully steering it through its ongoing sale process to Tata Motors, had been battling serious illness for the past two years.
“Geoff’s untimely passing robs his family and friends of a man who was a real inspiration to us all,” said Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company. “His drive and determination, combined with his clear sense of vision for the business, played a huge role in turning round the business at Jaguar Land Rover and returning it to profitability. Geoff ensured that Jaguar Land Rover was not distracted and continued to focus on the fundamentals of the business during the recent sale process, despite at the time also fighting his own personal health battle.
“He was a trusted colleague and someone who was much respected not just by his peers but by all who had the privilege to work with him. Our sympathies are with his wife and family at this difficult time,” said Mulally.
Lewis Booth, executive vice president responsible for Ford Motor Company’s businesses in Europe, said: “For many of us at Ford and Jaguar Land Rover, we’ve lost not just a respected colleague but a great friend.
“Geoff was always someone to look up to throughout his almost 40-year career in the automotive industry. His passion for the car business was legend, but the resolve he showed since taking over as CEO of Jaguar Land Rover in 2005 was something very special.
“His leadership of the team that has put the Jaguar Land Rover business back into profitability has been exceptional. Geoff has given Jaguar Land Rover the solid foundation and established the strong management team it needs for a successful future. We will miss our friend very much.”
David Smith, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief financial officer, will take over as the acting chief executive officer at Jaguar Land Rover until a successor is appointed.
Ford Sell Jaguar Land Rover to Tata Motors
Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Jaguar Land Rover operations to Tata Motors.
The transaction is the culmination of Ford’s decision last August to explore strategic options for the Jaguar Land Rover business, as the company accelerates its focus on its core Ford brand and “One Ford” global transformation.
The sale is expected to close by the end of the next quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals.
The total amount to be paid in cash by Tata Motors for Jaguar Land Rover upon closing will be approximately US $2.3 billion. At closing, Ford will then contribute up to approximately US $600 million to the Jaguar Land Rover pension plans.
“Jaguar and Land Rover are terrific brands,” said Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “We are confident that they are leaving our fold with the products, plan and team to continue to thrive under Tata’s stewardship. Now, it is time for Ford to concentrate on integrating the Ford brand globally, as we implement our plan to create a strong Ford Motor Company that delivers profitable growth for all.”
“This is a good agreement. It provides the Jaguar Land Rover management team and employees with the assurances needed to maintain their focus on delivering the best results for the business,” said Lewis Booth, executive vice president, Ford Motor Company, who has responsibility for Ford of Europe, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover. “I am confident that, under its new owner, Jaguar Land Rover will continue to build upon the significant improvements and product successes it has achieved in recent years.”
As part of the transaction, Ford will continue to supply Jaguar Land Rover for differing periods with powertrains, stampings and other vehicle components, in addition to a variety of technologies, such as environmental and platform technologies. Ford also has committed to provide engineering support, including research and development, plus information technology, accounting and other services.
In addition, Ford Motor Credit Company will provide financing for Jaguar and Land Rover dealers and customers during a transitional period, which can vary by market, of up to 12 months.
The parties believe these arrangements will support Jaguar Land Rover’s current product plans, while providing Jaguar Land Rover freedom to develop its own stand-alone capabilities in the future that will best serve its premium manufacturer requirements.
The parties do not anticipate any significant changes to Jaguar Land Rover employees’ terms of employment on completion.
Speaking about today’s agreement, Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, commented: “We are very pleased at the prospect of Jaguar and Land Rover being a significant part of our automotive business. We have enormous respect for the two brands and will endeavor to preserve and build on their heritage and competitiveness, keeping their identities intact. We aim to support their growth, while holding true to our principles of allowing the management and employees to bring their experience and expertise to bear on the growth of the business.”
Jaguar Land Rover’s employees, trade unions and the UK Government have been kept informed of developments as the sale process progressed and have indicated their support for the agreement.
Speaking on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover, Geoff Polites, chief executive officer, said: “Jaguar Land Rover’s management team is very pleased that Ford and Tata Motors have come to an agreement today. Our team has been consulted extensively on the deal content and feels confident that it provides for the business needs of both our brands going forward. If you are looking for vw aufkleber, check out here.
“We have also had the opportunity to meet senior executives from Tata Motors and the Tata group,” Polites continued. “They have expressed confidence in the team that has delivered significant improvements in Jaguar Land Rover’s business performance. We feel confident that we can forge a strong working relationship with our new parent company, and we look forward to a bright and successful future for Jaguar Land Rover.