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Tata Motors posts record $4bn loss on Jaguar woes, share crash

10 February 2019
Tata Motors posts record $4bn loss on Jaguar woes, share crash

Daimler and BMW reduced profit forecasts past year amid pressures from the United States-China trade war that has hit auto demand, while Hyundai Motor said last month it was letting workers go as it reviews production plans in the world's biggest market.

Tata Motors took a non-cash charge of 278.38 billion rupees for an impairment at JLR in the quarter.

Sales in China fell 47% y-o-y last quarter offsetting 21% and 18.4% increase in North America and the United Kingdom respectively.

The group disclosed that the automotive industry is "facing significant market, technological, and regulatory headwinds".

They had already slumped more than 50 per cent in the past 12 months through Thursday on concerns about Jaguar Land Rover's waning sales, profitability, high capital-expenditure need and the impact of Brexit.

Tata Motors has faced a decline in sales in India as well.

Fresh from announcing a factory shutdown as a result of Brexit, Jaguar Land Rover could also now have its credit rating downgraded as a effect of Britain's impending exit from the European Union.

Carmakers around the world are getting hurt by the slump in China, whose vehicle market shrank for the first time in more than two decades previous year.

While Tata Motors has announced plans to turn around JLR, the slide in the unit's sales has continued for now with retail sales in China falling almost 50 per cent during the quarter ending December 31.

"In JLR, the market conditions continue to be challenging particularly in China. The company is expected to be a positive surprise with a 39% YoY PAT growth, led by JLR returning to the profitable zone", analysts at Antique Stock Broking had said in a results preview note. "Our aspirations for the future will only grow to surpass customers' expectations", Guenter Butschek, CEO and MD, Tata Motors, said.

JLR total retail sales for the 10 months to the end of January were 463,732, down 5.5 per cent compared to the same period a year before.

Tata Motors said it wrote down its JLR investment following to rigid market situation and expanding debt.

Following the news, Tata Motors issued a warning that its JLR unit, will also suffer an operating loss in the year to March, a downgrade on its earlier forecast for the business which predicted that it would manage to breakeven.

The company, which employs 18,500 manufacturing staff in the Midlands and Merseyside, last month said it will cut 4,500 jobs in response to the challenges.