Ford chief vows to sell Jag

Ford's chief technical officer Richard Parry-Jones believes it is inconceivable that a new buyer cannot be found for Jaguar Racing

Ford chief vows to sell Jag

Speaking after he confirmed that Ford had pulled the plug on its F1 operation and put Jaguar and its engine supplier Cosworth up for sale, Parry-Jones said he would pursue every opportunity he could to prevent the 500 redundancies that would come from both operations being shut down.

When asked whether he feared that no buyer could be found, he said: "We are not really considering that option. It is a question that you have to go through in your thoroughness of thought, but I think there are lots of buyers out there. I have every intention of pursuing all opportunities out there to find a buyer."

Parry-Jones insisted that there was no urgency to conclude a deal and that he was only expecting to get a clear picture of the situation by the end of October.

"We have not established a cut-off deadline," he said. "We expect that it will take some weeks to flush out buyers and sort out those that are serious and those that are not. We expect to be in a much better position to understand the selling potential of the team by the end of the season."

The negotiations regarding Jaguar's sale are being conducted by team sponsor HSBC and Parry-Jones has confirmed that Ford is open to offers for Jaguar and Cosworth both individually and together.

"We have not put a price on the team," he said. "What we are interested in doing is finding potential buyers and listening to what they have to say."

Although the identities of interested parties have not been disclosed, one of the most likely contenders if F3000 championship winning team boss Christian Horner. There is also understood to be interest from South East Asian investors.

Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz, who had talks with Ford about buying the team earlier this year, has already ruled himself out of any fresh deal to purchase the outfit.

And despite Parry-Jones' conviction that F1 did not make 'compelling business sense' for a car giant like Ford, he remains hopeful that getting involved in the sport would be beneficial to other commercial organisations.

"As far as Jaguar is concerned it is undergoing a period of consolidation," he explained. "There are other companies who are interested in getting involved in F1, who are having periods of growth and who are highly profitable. If they have sufficient funds to do it, then F1 can represent a sufficiently good marketing vehicle.

"But at this moment in time the value proposition that F1 offers and the situation Jaguar Cars faces are a mixture that don't work well together."

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone was less optimistic about the chances of Jaguar being sold, however. He said: "You never know. I know there are people interested but I don't know if they will be able to make the necessary financial investment any more than Ford could."

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