Jaguar Land Rover Is Seeking the British Government's Help to Stay Afloat
26 May 2020 - autoevolution
On May 20th, Jaguar Land Rover announced with great pomp and circumstance that the Special Vehicle Operations has sold 64 percent more vehicles in the 2019/20 fiscal year over the preceding period.
However, the British manufacturer failed to mention the dreadful financial situation it's in.
Remember when SVO canceled the Discovery SVX? Earlier still, the Range Rover SV Coupe was canceled too because Land Rover prefers to "focus resources and investment on the next generation of world-class products." Reading between the lines, the coffer is running dry at an alarming rate.
The Guardian understands that JLR is talking to the British government for a "state loan" worth more than one billion pounds sterling, dressed up as "a support package" according to the cited publication. Jaguar Land Rover confirmed that it's regularly discussing with the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) without going into further detail.
Retail sales for the fourth quarter – ending March 31st – fell by more than 30 percent according to the British manufacturer. The health crisis is certain to take its tolls on Jaguar Land Rover's upcoming quarter, and worse still, the company appears to be relying on government loans as of late.
Last summer, JLR has accessed 500 million pounds sterling in a deal with UK Export Finance for EV development. Coincidence or not, Jaguar Land Rover reported a record loss of 3.6 billion pounds sterling in May 2019. The question is, why isn't Tata Motors stepping in to turn things around?
It is understood that the Indian overlord may be required to back a part of the loan to secure the funding, but that won't be enough to save Jaguar Land Rover in the long run. Without the careful timing of product launches, better reliability across the board, and truly competitive vehicles, Jaguar and Land Rover could very well be sold or file for bankruptcy.
The Indian automaker isn't doing great at home either because the economic slowdown is really bad in the world's second most populous country. For the third quarter of fiscal year '20, the Tata Motors Group reported a decrease of 12 percent in terms of sales and a decrease of 7 percent revenue-wise.