Parent company of Jaguar Land Rover, Tata has approached several carmakers including Geely and BMW as it seeks future partnerships, Bloomberg has reported.

India’s largest conglomerate is open to searching for new partners for Jaguar Land Rover in order to save costs and share the burden of investing in and developing electric vehicles, it has said. This process is in its early stages and Tata could still approach other potential partners, according to sources who asked not to be named, and it wasn’t clear how receptive Geely and BMW have been to Tata’s outreach.

There have been no talks with either Tata or Jaguar Land Rover, said Geely in a statement, while BMW and Tata also declined to comment, the latter’s chairman previously ruled out an outright sale.

Any tie-up with a Chinese automaker could potentially help JLR in that market, while deeper ties between the British brands and BMW would build upon an existing collaboration for the development of engines and electric powertrain, although the German marque’s former CEO ruled out any equity investment as of August, the report said.

Scale is increasingly crucial, Bloomberg noted, as carmakers combine resources to develop electrified powertrains and autonomous technologies, and the challenge is especially daunting for relatively smaller automakers such as JLR which has committed to the electrification of all new models from 2020.

“Carmakers need to invest a lot of money in developing new technology, and Tata doesn’t have deep pockets to keep funding development. You don’t want to be left behind, especially in the luxury segment, and at the same time, Tata doesn’t want to let go of JLR, which is its crown jewel,” said Deepesh Rathore, an independent auto analyst quoted by Bloomberg.

The British automaker group’s financial struggles will be a potential roadblock for anyone who may partner with it, the report said. A US$910 million (RM3.78 billion) equity infusion has been provided by Tata to aid its finances, as it decline led to the plan for 5,000 job cuts this year. In May, the automaker group also posted its heaviest loss yet, being £3.6 billion (RM19.2 billion) in the red for 2018.