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AP
Ford: Jag Sale Would Bring Needed Cash

Wednesday September 12, 5:08 pm ET
By Jeff Karoub, Associated Press Writer

Ford Official: Automaker Needs Money From Jaguar, Land Rover Sale

DETROIT (AP) -- The head of Ford Motor Co.'s European operations said Wednesday it's too soon to say if Ford would keep a stake in its Jaguar and Land Rover units, but a full sale is what the cash-hungry automaker wants.
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"We're selling the business because we need the money and we need the focus," Lewis Booth, executive vice president of Ford's European units, said during a webcast from the Frankfurt auto show. "We're not going out with the intention of keeping an equity stake."

The automaker lost $12.6 billion in 2006 and has said it expects to burn up to $15 billion to $16 billion in cash before returning to profitability in 2009.

Booth made no announcement about the sale of the units, but said the Dearborn automaker has been pleased with the interest and quality of the bidders. He said Jaguar and Land Rover probably would be sold and expects a decision late this year or early in 2008.

Ford hasn't said how much it wants for the combined units, but analysts have estimated they could be worth about $1.5 billion.

Ford bought Jaguar in 1989 and Land Rover in 2000, joining them with Aston Martin and Volvo to form its Premier Automotive Group. Ford said last month it had completed the sale of its controlling stake in Aston Martin for $931 million in cash and preferred stock.

Booth on Wednesday said that Ford expects to conclude its strategic review of the Volvo carmaker for potential sale by the end of this year.

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"This is just a nasty rumor. Ford will never sell these brands. They've said so."
 
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