JLR's fourth quarter sales fall by a third

Sales at Jaguar Land Rover have collapsed in the wake of the global recession, according to figures released in India yesterday.

Newspaper reports say that JLR sold just 49,000 vehicles in the last three months of 2008, down from 76,000 in the same period in 2007. These figures suggest that annual JLR sales could fall a third from the pre-downturn heights.

However, Indian city analysts noted that owners Tata have not yet revealed the full details of JLR's financial position, so further bad news might be expected in the near future.

Tata Motors, JLR's parent company, has been hit hard by the downturn. Yesterday, it revealed its first quarterly loss in seven years as overall revenue dropped by 32 per cent. Tata Motor shares fell 16 per cent on news of the company's troubles.

However, financial experts say a collapse in domestic truck sales has been the major contributor to Tata Motors losing 90 per cent of its market value in the last year.

Indian analysts are also concerned that no launch date has yet been set for the ultra-cheap Nano car. Tata had to relocate the factory after serious local resistance to the original site.

City sources also say that Tata has until June to refinance the $2bn bridging loan used to buy JLR.

Hilton Holloway

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