Jaguar Land Rover has lost £281m in the 10 months to March, helping its parent company, Tata Motors, to its first loss in eight years and prompting it to warn there could be further job losses at its British subsidiary.
The Indian group, which paid £1.15bn for JLR in March 2008, recorded an annual loss of 15.1 billion rupees (£189m), compared with 21.7 billion rupees profit in the previous year, as the global automotive industry has been devastated by recession.
In the UK, JLR has been hit hard by collapsing demand for new cars. Global sales are down by 28 per cent compared with June last year. Although sales of Jaguars are slightly up – by 1 per cent – thanks to the introduction of the new XF model, some 35 per cent fewer Land Rovers have been sold.
The company has been asking for government help since before Christmas, claiming its position as a major investor in research and development justifies support. But Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, maintains it is up to Tata Motors to provide any help its subsidiary needs. Even JLR’s attempts to secure the necessary government guarantees for loans for green research from the European Investment Bank have stalled. The company says the conditions attached to the guarantees are too onerous to be commercially viable.