Tata Motors to shed 1,100 JLR jobs after pandemic hits earnings

16 June 2020 - 17:28 By Reuters
Tata expects to shed about 1,100 temporary jobs at Jaguar Land Rover.
Tata expects to shed about 1,100 temporary jobs at Jaguar Land Rover.
Image: Gisela Schober/Getty Images for Jaguar

India's Tata Motors Ltd expects to shed about 1,100 temporary jobs at Jaguar Land Rover after it raised the cost-cutting target at its luxury unit by £1bn (roughly R21.5bn) to ride out the disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Tata Motors expects to save £5bn (R107.5bn) in costs by March 2021 at its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) unit, the Indian automaker's CFO PB Balaji said on Monday, adding £3.5bn (roughly R75,3bn) of the savings had already been achieved.

It will also reduce capital expenditure at JLR to £2.5bn (R53.7bn) for the current fiscal year, from the more than £3bn (roughly R64.4bn) it has spent annually in previous years.

“Conserving cash and prioritising capital expenditure, and targeting investment spending to the right areas is our focus,” Balaji told reporters, after the company posted a fourth quarter loss.

We anticipate that up to 1,100 agency employees will be affected, a JLR spokesperson said in a separate statement.

Tata Motors is reviewing all its businesses and would consider exiting those that do not add strategic value, as part of a broader effort to save ₹60bn (roughly R13.4bn) in its domestic business in the fiscal year to 2021.

The automaker on Monday posted a consolidated fourth quarter net loss of ₹98.94 billion (roughly R22.05bn), as coronavirus lockdowns across its markets ravaged sales, including at JLR.

Total revenue from operations fell 27.7% to ₹624.93bn (roughly R139.3bn) in the quarter, which ended March 31.

JLR, which contributes the bulk of Tata Motors' revenues, reported a pretax loss of £501m (about R10.8bn) for the period after it took a hit of £800m (R17.14bn) because of the novel coronavirus, Balaji said.

He said there were signs sales were recovering in China, one of JLR's biggest markets, as well as in the US and in Europe, with strong orders for Land Rover's sport-utility vehicle Defender and Range Rover's Evoque.

JLR's boss Ralf Speth, who has led the company since 2010, will step down from his role at the end of his contract term in September.