British carmaker's Indian owners are in it for the long haul.
Not long ago we learned that Jaguar Land Rover’s finances had run into some difficulty. Due to declining sales in China and the fear of a “hard Brexit deal,” the UK-based automaker was forced to initiate cost-cutting measures to improve cash flow to help keep things afloat until I-Pace sales really get going. Next year, the all-new Land Rover Defender will arrive and it too is expected to contribute greatly to getting JLR back in the black.
However, some 5,000 jobs are expected to be cut in addition to the already 1,000 jobs eliminated at its Solihull plant in the UK. With tough financial times like this, some parent companies may consider selling. Not JLR’s parent company, Tata Motors.
Autocar reports that Tata Motors chairman, Natarajan Chandrasekaran has issued a statement confirming the Indian firm’s loyalty to JLR.
“I would like to clarify that we remain committed to the long-term growth and success of JLR,” he said. “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 rumors that Tata Motors is looking to divest our stake in JLR or discontinue the Jaguar brand.”
Jaguar and Land Rover’s previous owner, Ford, made a noble attempt to fully revive both brands, but opted instead to sell back in 2007. Under Ford’s ownership, Jaguar never made a profit. Tata Motors, who purchased both brands from Ford, has invested heavily in both brands enabling a host of new products to hit the market.
Instead of restyled models built on Ford platforms (such as the Jaguar X-Type), Tata provided the necessary funds for new architectures. The new I-Pace, for example, would not have been possible without that money. But unlike Ford at the time of the sale, Tata Motors is currently in solid financial shape and in a far better position to weather the storm.
Over a decade ago, Ford needed to offload unprofitable brands fast because it was already bleeding cash. Something had to stop the hemorrhage. Tata was instrumental in helping JLR come up with its turnaround plan, called “Project Charge”, which should be complete in around 18 months’ time. By then, whatever happens with Brexit would have come and gone and those aforementioned new models will also begin to generate greater profits.