JLR: Bumpy road ahead


The company is now reported to need between £1-2 billion to see it through the crisis caused by the slump in car sales caused by the coronavi­rus pandemic (Photo: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images).
The company is now reported to need between £1-2 billion to see it through the crisis caused by the slump in car sales caused by the coronavi­rus pandemic (Photo: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images).

By Amit Roy

WHEN Jaguar Land Rov­er (JLR) once wanted to borrow money from Gor­don Brown’s Labour gov­ernment in 2008 to tide it over a cash-flow problem, the response of his busi­ness secretary, Peter Mandelson, was not helpful.

He took the view JLR was an Indian company which could get the mon­ey it needed from its par­ent company Tata Motors, part of the group headed by Ratan Tata.

JLR is now held up as a showpiece of British manufacturing, employ­ing 33,000 people. Thou­sands more jobs in the indirect supply chain also depend on the automo­bile manufacturer.

The company is now reported to need between £1-2 billion to see it through the crisis caused by the slump in car sales caused by the coronavi­rus pandemic.

JLR said: “We are in regular discussion with government on a whole range of matters and the content of our discussions remains confidential,” adding the suggestion it needs up to £2bn “is in­accurate and speculative”.

A government spokes­person confirmed: “The government is in regular contact with the car man­ufacturing sector to assist them through this crisis.

“We recognise the challenges facing the industry as a result of coronavirus and firms can draw upon the unprecedented pack­age of measures, includ­ing schemes to raise capi­tal, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial sup­port for employees.”

JLR, which has a big presence at the Warwick Manufacturing Group, is working to advance car technology, especially in electric cars. It is critical to the British economy that JLR should survive.

It might be Indian owned but the Land Rov­er, which the Queen drives, is as British and as well-loved as, well, chick­en tikka masala.