Bids for Jaguar and Land Rover are expected to be finalised by the beginning of November. According to a Reuters report today, potential bidders need more time to complete due diligence.

With no set deadline for the bids, the timing could slip further. Earlier this year Lewis Booth, executive vice president of Ford's European units, said that a decision would probably not be made until late this year or early 2008.

Private equity companies reportedly in the bidding are One Equity Partners, Ripplewood, Terra Firma, TPG (Texas Pacific Group), and despite its recent acquisition of Chrysler, Cerberus.

Indian car maker, Tata Motors, is also preparing a bid, said the report. Another Indian carmaker, Mahindra & Mahindra, withdrew from the bidding last month, according to Indian press reports. The decision to pull out was primarily driven by two concerns - the fact that both companies could remain dependent on Ford for the supply of powertrains, and proposed CO2 emission regulations in the European Union which companies with no small and fuel-efficient cars in their line would have difficulty meeting.

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