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No plan to sell JLR; open to finding partners

02/11/2019 | Author: Autoguide | 0 Comments Back To Home   < Previous News   |   Next news >

Mr N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons

Indian conglomerate Tata Sons, that owns Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), said it is open to finding partners for the automaker but isn’t planning on selling the embattled unit.
 
“We’re not going to sell,” said Mr Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons Ltd, the holding company in an expansive business empire that includes Tata Motors Ltd. “Auto is a core business for us. From revenue terms, auto is our largest company”, he said.
 
Tata Motors bought the maker of the Jaguar XE sedan and Land Rover Discovery sport utility vehicle from Ford Motor Co. in 2008. After turning it into a cash-cow with booming sales in countries like Russia and China, JLR waned to such an extent that it’s had to launch a £2.5- billion savings programme and slash thousands of jobs worldwide. 
 
Losses at Tata’s automotive business have mounted with a slump in India’s car market, as well as trouble overseas, including an economic slowdown in China, where auto sales are sliding, and uncertainty over Brexit. JLR is closing its UK factories for a week in November to guard against disruption to supply chains from a possible no-deal Brexit. 
 
Mr Chandrasekaran said China sales have “collapsed” with a 50 per cent drop last year, though 2019 is showing some improvement. Some problems were self-inflicted, including vehicle quality and dealer issues, he said, noting that the auto industry is “going through difficult times.” 
 
“Getting the right portfolio, which one we invest in for electric vehicles, and how do we cut cost” are issues that need to be resolved, he said. 
 
In an interview with Bloomberg Television earlier, Mr Chandrasekaran said dealing with tariffs is the “new normal” for the global auto industry and that negotiations around Britain’s exit from the European Union have taken too long. “Sometimes it’s better to have clarity than a desirable result,” he said. “Nations are getting more protective,” he added.
 
The troubles of JLR are bogging down the Tata Group as a whole, with Tata Motors writing down its investment in the British brands earlier this year by $3.9 billion. 
 

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