Jaguar Land Rover is reported to be seeking a £1bn emergency loan from the UK government as sales of the company’s vehicles continue to drop.

According to reports over the weekend, JLR is said to have already submitted the request, and the Government could make a decision on whether to back the company within two weeks.

JLR’s CEO, David Smith, has already publicly suggested that UK car manufacturers should get government support to help them through the economic downturn.

“Unless we introduce further measures to reignite the UK economy, there is significant risk," he said in October, after meeting Gordon Brown to discuss the state of the UK car industry.

JLR would not comment on the reports, saying only that it would not be drawn into speculation.

Land Rover sales have been particularly badly hit, with a 37 per cent drop in the US for the first ten months of this year and a 27 per cent fall in the UK over the same period.

Dan Stevens