And then there were two. Reports are beginning to surface confirming that Tata and One Equity are the remaining bidders for Jaguar and Land Rover, with Mahindra & Mahindra officially bowing out of the race. M&M have apparently decided that the complexity of the sale, particularly issues surrounding intellectual property rights and the technological ties that bind the two automakers to Ford, would be too difficult to deal with in the long run. Ford's cross-pollination between Jaguar and Land Rover will be something the front runners at Tata will be required to deal with once the sale goes through, likely sometime next year.

However, AutoObserver has already called the race. In an article earlier today, the site reported that the sale of Jag and L.R. went through and that Tata has paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion for both marques. Unfortunately, there's no other source for this news, so we're going to chock it up to rampant speculation brought on by too much eggnog. Regardless, we'll keep an eye out for more developments.

[Sources: Times of India, AutoObserver]