India's Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, and US-based private equity firm One Equity Partners have submitted their final bids for Ford's Jaguar and Land Rover brands, according to the Economic Times. 'The bids are competitive and it will be a close call for [Ford],' the newspaper said yesterday. The bids could be in the range of US$1.5 billion to US$2 billion and it was possible that they might be revised when negotiations got under way, the paper said. Each bid would include a set of caveats such as balance-sheet health, management freedom and restructuring flexibility, the paper said, adding Ford would use a combination of bid value and 'obligation to local communities and employees'. The Hindustan Times said final bids, after two rounds of indicative bids, were expected to be placed on Wednesday, and were not subject to further changes. It said final bids were likely to be in the range of US$1.7 billion to US$2.2 billion. 'Ford is expected to consider these bids later next week,' it said. Ford said it could announce the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover, which a Merrill Lynch analyst had valued at up to US$1.5 billion, by the end of the year or early next year. Mahindra, India's top utility vehicle maker, is bidding with buyout firm Apollo. Ford's British union leaders last month backed Tata Motors' bid and some bankers and analysts believe the company, India's top vehicle maker, has the edge because of its size, its dealmaking record and its familiarity with the British market. On Wednesday, Tata confirmed that it would invest 1.3 billion baht (HK$332.93 million) in a Thai factory to produce pick-up trucks as economic growth boosted the country's demand for vehicles. Production would start in March, with Tata targeting sales of 5,000 vehicles in the first year, said Ajit Venkataraman, the chief executive of Tata's Thai unit. The company was aiming for a 5 per cent share of the Thai pick-up market in five years, he said. New vehicle sales rose 3.3 per cent in Southeast Asia's biggest vehicle market in the third quarter.