David Prosser: Tata steps up a gear

Outlook: It Is difficult not to feel extremely nervous about the employment prospects of staff at Jaguar Land Rover. Parent company Tata admitted as much yesterday, warning that future job cuts are possible after unveiling a £280m loss at the company in its first 10 months of ownership.

The problem for JLR is that it's hard to see where any sales uplift is going to come from, despite a pretty positive reaction to the new Jaguar XF. Certainly not from the domestic market – there aren't going to be too many people trading in an old banger for a £2,000 scrappage voucher to put towards the cost of a new Jaguar, or even a Land Rover. And not from the international market either, where demand remains depressed by the global slowdown.

Still, like other car companies, Tata is playing a political card in talking so explicitly about the possibility of job losses at JLR. It is only a couple of months since talks stalled between the Government and Tata over financial support for the company – because of some unreasonable demands by ministers, the company let it be known – and the negotiations have not moved on much since then. Tata's public warning yesterday may just be an attempt to provide a little bit of impetus.

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