Suitable for MBA, EMBA, and executive education programs, this case uses Tata Motors' move to acquire Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) from Ford to analyze a growth-through-acquisition strategy. It offers a discussion about the firm's overall strategy to acquire instead of growing organically.
The case begins when Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Motors, unveils the world's cheapest car?the Nano. He had challenged the people around him to design and produce something that had previously been unthinkable. Their ability to deliver on such a bold aspiration provided the confidence Tata Motors needed to compete in the international automobile market. Ratan believed he would have to establish a firm foothold in the United States and the United Kingdom to be considered a global contender. His strategy was to become a runner in the bid to acquire JLR from Ford. Establishing a luxury brand would go a long way toward separating Tata Motors from regional automotive firms. Yet Ratan had to think about whether the firm was well positioned to execute the acquisition if it won the bid. Or was organic growth a safer route to the same end?