Jaguar Land Rover woes drive India's Tata Motors to biggest quarterly loss


"Tata Motors domestic business continues the strong momentum and has delivered market share gains as well as profitable growth".

"In JLR, the market conditions continue to be challenging particularly in China". Tata Motors, Jaguar Land Rover owner, says the savings from the program would be reflected in results for the first quarter of 2019.

Brexit-related worries and a global shift away from diesel cars both in Europe and North America along with the impact of China-US trade tariffs is also hurting the maker of Land Rover Discovery and Evoque sport-utility vehicles and Jaguar XE and XF cars.

The firm said "significant market, technological and regulatory headwinds" were affecting the sector, while investment in new models and changing technology was still high. CNBC-TV18 Polls had predicted a profit of Rs 541 crore for the quarter under review. Quarterly revenue stood at GBP 6.22 billion, versus GBP 6.31 billion.

It marked a record loss in Indian corporate history, exceeding the deficit recorded by Indian Oil Corporation in 2012, according to Bloomberg News. The staggering loss comes even as its domestic business seems to have achieved a turnaround, with standalone profits almost tripling from Rs 211.59 crore for the same period of past year to Rs 617.62 crore. "The company intends to improve mix and dealer profitability by increasing sales of models with high profitability and terminating underperforming dealerships", noted Vivek Kumar of JM Financial Institutional Securities.

Tata Motors expects the EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) margin for the fiscal year 2018-19 ending March 31 to be "marginally negative" compared with an earlier guidance of breaking even, Chief Financial Officer, PB Balaji said.

Last year, JLR launched a £2.5bn programme of cost-cutting and working capital improvements in an attempt to turn the company around.

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The luxury auto maker saw revenue down from £6.3 billion a year before to £6.2bn.

Tata Motors has bitten the bullet.

"With several upgrades and refreshes coming over the next 12-18 months, as well as completion of inventory de-stocking by the fourth quarter of FY19, JLR's volumes are expected to stabilise in FY2020".

In the United Kingdom there was an 0.9 per cent decline to 7,758.

Shares of the Tata Motors settled at Rs 151.30 on the BSE. down 17.28 percent from its previous close.

Not only is JLR having to contend with weaker demand from China, but the carmaker is having to contend with ongoing Brexit uncertainty and low demand for its diesel cars which it relies on for the bulk of its sales in the European market.