Indian conglomerate Tata Group, which is the front-runner for acquiring British marques Jaguar and Land Rover, is expected to appoint a senior executive of Ford Motor to run the two luxury brands, media reports said here.
"Senior industry sources said last week that Tata was likely to name a top Ford executive in Europe as chief executive of the Jaguar-Land Rover group," The Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
The current chief executive is Geoff Polities, an Australian car industry veteran.
"It is understood that Tata plans few immediate changes to the businesses, with the UK operations and model plans kept intact," the report added.
Ford, the second-largest US carmaker, said on January 3 it was into discussions with Tata Motors for Jaguar and Land Rover, buta final decision for the sale was yet to be taken.
However, another report in The Guardianquoted industry sources as saying that being named preferred suitor might not mean Tata Motors has a clear field as yet.
The Daily Telegraph had earlier reported quoting unidentified sources: "It is possible, Ford, which is likely to continue to supply engines and components for the cars, may retain a stake in the businesses -- similar to the deal it struck with the Gulf-based consortium which bought Aston Martin --although there is no certainty this will happen."
The report said talks could run into February as Tata needs to negotiate a settlement with pension trustees and would have to convince the unions about the safety of 15,000British jobs accounted for by Jaguar and Land Rover.'