The talks with Fiat -- held between Ford of Europe head Lewis Booth and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne -- fell through last month. Fiat was interested in Land Rover because of the pace of SUV sales, and the fact that its "five brands are almost nonexistent in the growing global SUV market." Fiat was also interested in Land Rover's US dealership network, thinking Alfa might be able to pair up with them. Jaguar interested Fiat for its RWD platforms and V6 and V8 engines. But Marchionne ended the talks over fears its credit rating would be adversely affected by acquiring Jaguar and Land Rover.
PAG lost $327 million last year, but could be in the black this year, overall, having reported a $402 million pre-tax profit in the first quarter. Jaguar, however, has held things back: it has lost $500 million to $1 billion every year for the last six years, and Jag itself says it will be in the red this year and next. Neither Ford nor Fiat would admit to the talks, but Ford said it "is continuing to assess a number of strategic options for all of its operations. We're not specifying what they are and what we're evaluating."