Tata Motors: Seriously, We're Totally Not Interested in Dropping Jaguar Land Rover

tata motors seriously were totally not interested in dropping jaguar land rover

It apparently needed to be said. As forces conspire against it, Indian auto conglomerate Tata Motors decided to pour cold water on rumors that it’s mulling a sell-off of Jaguar Land Rover, or perhaps some part of it.

Sure, there’s many troubles facing its British subsidiary, not least of which is the hazy future promised under Brexit. Then there’s cooling sales in the West and trouble in China — oh, and regulatory pressure in Europe and the continued decline of the traditional sedan. JLR lost a lot of money this year. Rumors abound of a big job cull in the New Year, too. Still, Tata says it has a plan, and that the plan will work.

In a Christmas Eve statement reported by Autocar, Tata and JLR Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said, “I would like to clarify that we remain committed to the long-term growth and success of JLR.”

He continued. “JLR will continue to face global headwinds being experienced by the auto industry and, to address them, the management is taking the right steps to drive operational excellence, whilst continuing to invest in innovative products and technology to stay competitive globally. There is no truth to the rumours that Tata Motors is looking to divest our stake in JLR or discontinue the Jaguar brand.”

While Land Rover has new products on the way, including a revamped Range Rover Evoque and the upcoming Defender, much speculation surrounds the car-packed Jaguar brand’s future. Sales of the F-Pace and E-Pace SUVs are not fully compensating for declining sales of the brand’s traditional range. There’s talk of the brand going electric-only. Meanwhile, Europe’s sudden distaste for diesel and a sales slump in China, where JLR does a quarter of its business, has only compounded the automaker’s woes.

JLR reported a $276 million loss in the first quarter of the 2018/2019 fiscal year, with the following quarter coming in $114 million in the red. A not-so-cheerful Financial Times report published just before Christmas said the automaker might cut 5,000 positions, worsening the dark clouds hanging over workers’ heads. JLR employs 40,000 in the UK.

Tata’s response to a tumultuous industry landscape is its “Project Change” — a $3.16 cost-cutting plan designed to stimulate cash flow. While the Land Rover and Jaguar brands will remain under an Indian-owned Union Jack, job losses seem inevitable. It’s meant to be a quick turnaround, too — Project Change’s timeline is 18 months.

“Together with our ongoing product offensive and calibrated investment plans, these efforts will lay the foundations for long-term sustainable growth,” JLR CEO Ralf Speth said at the end of October.

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Dec 26, 2018

    May be Bill Ford will buy JLR back, the crown jewels, since Mulally and even Fields are not around anymore? He was smart enough to bring Hackett on the board so it is quite possible. Then they can ignore Lincoln again or may be even kill it since it is not a crown jewel.

  • BklynPete BklynPete on Dec 27, 2018

    Thanks for reminding us that Billy Ford is a charter member of the Lucky Sperm Club. Every stupid decision Ford's made in the past 20 years has his name all over it.

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.