JLR seeks state loan as coronavirus pandemic takes toll: Sky News

24 May 2020 - 22:23
By Reuters
The Jaguar logo.
Image: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images The Jaguar logo.

Jaguar Land Rover is in talks with the British government about a request for temporary state funding of more than 1bn pounds (roughly R21,488,567,600), Sky News said on Saturday, a report the company said was inaccurate.

The loan request had been lodged with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Sky News report said, citing a source close to Jaguar Land Rover, whose parent company is Tata Motors.

"The claim is inaccurate and speculative," Jaguar Land Rover said in an emailed statement to Reuters. The statement said the company was in "regular discussion with government on a whole range of matters and the content of our private discussions remains confidential."

The company recently restarted operations at Solihull plant in UK. "Manufacturing will resume at Halewood factory on June 8, starting with one shift," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sky News, citing a spokesman, said about 20,000 of its employees had been furloughed under the government's emergency wage subsidy programme.

On May 1, rating agency Fitch downgraded its credit rating to the company, saying that "risks of the Covid-19 pandemic to both demand in JLR's end-markets and disruption to operations has increased further".

Sky News said the government's position on JLR's latest loan request was unclear this weekend.

Tata Motors did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.