Covid-19 impact: India’s Tata Motors reports $1.3 billion loss

INDIA’s Tata Motors reported a loss of $1.3 billion for the first quarter (Jan-March) of 2020 as sales in its key markets of China and Europe were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Mumbai-based automaker had just returned to the black in the previous quarter amid Chinese demand for its British luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover.

The 98.94 billion rupees ($1.3 billion) net loss for the January-March quarter followed a net profit of 11.17 billion rupees for the same period last year.

“The auto industry faced strong headwinds in FY20 amidst a slowing economy due to multiple factors… all leading to weak consumer sentiments and subdued demand across segments,” Tata Motors chief executive Guenter Butschek said in a statement.

“Disruption in the supply chain induced by the pandemic and the nationwide lockdown in mid-March 2020 added to the problems.”

The company forecast a weak April-June—the first quarter of the 2021 financial year—which coincided with widespread virus lockdowns across its Europe, UK and Chinese markets.

But it expects a gradual recovery of sales and improved cash flows for rest of the financial year.

Tata Motors is a $45 billion organisation. Its diverse portfolio includes an extensive range of cars, sports utility vehicles, trucks, buses and defence vehicles.

Part of the $100 billion Tata group founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, Tata Motors is among the world’s leading manufacturers of automobiles. It offers an extensive range of integrated, smart and e-mobility solutions