29 November, 2020

Hope And Mourning In Merseyside

The pride of British roads now symbolises a definite loss. Tata Motors will be watched closely.

Hope And Mourning In Merseyside
At a very white working class cafe in a London suburb, they watched the news clip of the Tata Motors acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover in absolute silence. Then came the TV reporter's remark that Tata has quite an odd stable of cars. Sniggers passed around the room. In conversations later it was acknowledged that Tata is a good company—but those words were spoken reluctantly.

To 'observers' comfortable with billions of dollars, a noting of this kind of response is naive to mention, silly to consider. But there are signs of inner conflict between the matter-of-fact view that Jaguar and Land Rover have gone to a good company in a world where you can expect such takeovers, and a sense of loss that the flagships of British motoring, ceded once to American cousins, have passed to real outsiders. The misgivings end of this conflict is hard to get hold of; it speaks in tone and undercurrent, and publicly it gets cloaked in expressed rationality.

Tata's acquisition of Tetley Tea has gone well. And no cultural tensions have arisen over...


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