Men of thrift

Tata: Free?
The negotiations between Ford Motor and Tata Motors over the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover have included some lighter moments.

Tata patriarch Ratan Tata’s aside to journalists at the Geneva auto show provided an example. Prior to one of his many meetings in London with Ford of Europe Chairman Lewis Booth to discuss the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover, Ratan Tata picked up Booth in his London office’s official car.

Booth: No gifts
The Ford chief expressed surprise that Tata, the head of such a large conglomerate of prosperous Indian and international companies, would be riding in a battered old Mercedes-Benz.

“We were waiting for you to give us something better,” Tata says he replied.

Booth’s response: “Now, you should know that we never give anything away.”

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