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Jaguar Land Rover drives Tata Motors to biggest quarterly loss

07 February 2019 - 15:08 By Reuters
The Jaguar 'Leaper'
The Jaguar 'Leaper'
Image: Supplied

Indian automaker Tata Motors Ltd posted its biggest quarterly loss on Thursday, hurt by an impairment charge for its British luxury car business Jaguar Land Rover.

Troubles at the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) unit, which has been hit hard by U.S.-China trade tensions, low demand for diesel cars in Europe and Brexit worries, had tipped Tata Motors into its first loss in three years in the quarter ended June 2018.

While Tata Motors has announced plans to turn around JLR, the slide in the unit's sales has continue for now.

The company took a non-cash charge of 278.38 billion rupees ($3.90 billion) to cover the impairment at JLR in the three months to Dec. 31. Changes in market conditions, especially in China, technology disruptions and rising cost of debt resulted in the charge.

"...Overall performance continued to be impacted by challenging market conditions in China. We continue to work closely with Chinese retailers to respond to current market conditions with a 'Pull' based approach to vehicle sales," JLR CEO Ralf Speth said in a statement on Thursday.

JLR said last month it would cut 10 percent of its workforce, mostly in its home market, as Britain's biggest carmaker responded to lower Chinese demand and a slump in European diesel sales.

Tata Motors' loss came at 269.93 billion rupees ($3.78 billion) for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of 11.99 billion rupees in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 5.8 percent to 762.65 billion rupees.

Tata Motors has been facing a decline in sales in India as well.