Jaguar Land Rover weighing up bid for London cab company Addison Lee
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is weighing up an offer for London-based taxi company Addison Lee in a bid to keep up with companies such as Uber, the Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday.
Read more: Jaguar and Addison Lee trial their driverless cars in London
Addison Lee was put up for sale by its owner, US private equity firm Carlyle Group, earlier this month with a price tag of around £390m.
The taxi firm, the second-biggest in London, has come under pressure in recent years from Uber, London’s largest cab company, and its cheap rates. Uber is currently gearing up to float on the stock market with a valuation of around £90bn.
Jaguar Land Rover is one of the companies sniffing around Addison Lee, the Sunday Telegraph said. The UK's biggest car maker has struggled of late and has undertaken a turnaround plan.
A tough global environment caused the UK’s biggest car maker to suffer a £3.4bn first-quarter loss. JLR announced it would cut around 4,500 jobs, mainly in the UK, in January as it grappled with lower demand in China and falling sales of diesel cars.
Chief executive Ralf Speth said at the time: “We are taking decisive action to help deliver long-term growth in the face of multiple geopolitical and regulatory disruptions as well as technology challenges facing the automotive industry.”
Traditional car manufacturers have lagged behind newer, technology-focused companies in areas such as self-driving cars. A move by JLR to buy Addison Lee could be one way of adapting to the future.
Last year the two companies were among the winners who shared a £25m government-backed funding pot to develop driverless cars in London by 2021.
Read more: Jaguar Land Rover confirms 4,500 job cuts
JLR last year also teamed up with Google’s driverless cars project Weymo to supply 20,000 electric Jaguar cars. “Our passion for further advancing smart mobility needs expert long-term partners,” Speth said at the time.