Ford To Say Ta-Ta to Jaguar and Land Rover?

uploaded-file-77773Jaguar and Land Rover, once proud British brands, may soon become the property of Tata, an Indian carmaker and diversified conglomerate with more than $28 billion in annual sales.

Rumor has it that Ford Motor will sell the two luxury car brands—at a loss—to the Mumbai-based company, as Ford scrambles to reorganize (again!) after slipping to number three in U.S. car sales in 2007.

If you haven’t heard of Tata, don’t feel bad. Most U.S. consumers haven’t. But you should expect many more global brands to invade U.S. turf in the coming years, as economic growth in other countries exceeds our own, and wealth shifts between the hemispheres.

China’s Peak Group is another company to watch. While visiting family over the holidays, I was surprised to see Peak billboards—in Chinese—at a Milwaukee Bucks game. It turns out the sportswear brand sponsors Bucks’ rookie Yi Jianlian and Houston Rockets’ superstar Yao Ming.

The flat world is about to become a whole lot flatter. U.S. companies will need to become a lot more brand savvy to compete not only in global markets, but in our own.