Ratan has probably gone on the whistle-stop tour not only to get to know his dealers, but so his new partners could get a glimpse of the man they've all been wary of ever since Tata emerged as a front-running buyer for the brand. What were dealers telling him? They want they want a convertible sports car like the F-Type, a convertible XJ, and an even more upscale car to compete with Bentley.
Dealer reaction has been effusive. The head of Jaguar's dealer council -- who said India was no place for Jaguar -- reversed himself after meeting Tata, saying flat out, "I was wrong." And said Norm Aron, owner of a 55-year-old dealership in Illinois, "I'm telling you this: He's going to make something out of Jaguar. We're in good hands now." Score one for Mr. Tata, and please, Ratan, keep it up. Thanks for the tip, Mannix!