TaTa takes over Ford’s Jaguar/Land Rover

Or, India’s revenge

In an ironic twist arising out of an imperialist past, Tata, the low-cost automobile manufacturer of India, has just bought out the US/ Ford, who had bought the UKs financially ailing Jaguar and Land Rover in 1989. Ford succeeded turning Land Roveraround, but Jaguars sales have continued to decline. Now, Indias Tata rescues thousands of British workers whose jobs are on the line. B ritish workers interviewed said they were delighted. As long as their paychecks keep coming, they dont c are who is paying it..

TaTa is Indias largest car-maker, and is known for the cheap cars which make up most of the taxi fleet in India. They also make private automobiles for about $8,000. US., and they have recently introduced a small peoplescar which sells for $2400. Now they would like to become known as a manufacturer of quality automobiles as well.; hence, the purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover, the quintessentially English cars.

I did not even know India had a car manufacturer, ignorant, like most Americans, of so much of what is produced byother countries. That it should be called Tata, which in English means good bye seems to me supremely appropriate. Sixty-one years ago, the B ritish said good bye, and handed control back to an Indian government whose railways and administrative structure were created by the British during their reign there. Although India was impoverished and divided, it has come back with industry and persistence to create an economic miracle for many, (but not all) Indian citizens.

No longer the poor devils of the B ritish Raj, Mr. Ratan Tata represents the new India, the embodiment of another good bye, this time to old stereotypes and notions of superiority. The economic balance of the world is changing, and I hope that when Western society is no longer dominant, we will be treated with less prejudice and more kindness and compassion than was shown by us to the people of developing nations.

One Reply to “TaTa takes over Ford’s Jaguar/Land Rover”

  1. “Clothes Line” is a jewel! And it’s hard to imagine it needing any more polish. Also the typography is much easier on my eyes than the Tata article. I like the fact that you brought out the irony of Tata taking over a Ford Co. that had taken over a UK company–like those textbook illustrations of the prey-predator chain, you know the little fish being eaten by the medium fish being chased by the big fish, ad infinitum. The further irony of the “natives” putting it to sahib adds another box to the chinese puzzle. Unlike the clothes-line piece, however, this one lacks the personal voice. Maybe a smidgeon of the faux-naif point of view or some such thing would take it a step up from “mere” journalism.

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