We don't know how many times through the millennia one gentleman has told another, "Be careful with her – she's beautiful, but she's expensive." We would like to know if Alan Mullaly offered that warning to Ratan Tata (above) before the latter bought Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR). As with the Blue Oval before it, Tata Motors is about to throw billions at the English luxury marques and it is looking for help doing it.

Tata wanted the British government to guarantee a £340 million loan ($515M USD) Tata received from the European Investment Board. The government refused to underwrite the entire amount, and it was written that the government additionally wanted Tata to invest up to another £400M ($605M) in JLR (on top of the £900M ($1.36B) Tata pitched in last summer) and put £50M ($76B) on the table before it would underwrite anything. The government is also said to have wanted veto power on top executive choices and labor plans.

Those talks, unsurprisingly, went nowhere. Now Tata is looking to banks for £1 billion ($1.5B) in cash and underwriting help. Citigroup is has begun the search for lenders to provide the money by September, which everyone expects to come with heavy-duty interest rates. With the state of the market and Tata's other recent purchases, 2009 is shaping up as an expensive year for the Indian company.

[Source: Global Motors | Image: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty]