But Gordon Brown says he is willing to help
6 July 2009

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The boss of Jaguar Land Rover’s Indian parent company Tata has warned that lengthy shutdowns of its factories cannot be ruled out.

Ravi Kant, chairman of Tata Motors, told The Times newspaper: “There may be requirements in the future to shut plants.”

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Jaguar Land Rover, which launches the Jaguar XJ this week, has so far avoided shutdowns.

The company is still in talks with the government about loan guarantees to help it through the worst of the current slump in car sales.

Gordon Brown held direct talks with Tata last week in a bid to end the deadlock over government support for the struggling carmaker.

Brown revealed he spoke to Ratan Tata, chairman of JLR owners Tata Group, to assure him that the government wanted to help. His intervention followed warnings from the Unite workers' union that there would be huge job losses without the input of government money.

Brown said: “I talked to Mr Tata a few days ago. I assured him of our willingness to help Jaguar and Land Rover make the investments that they want to make.

“We have been in correspondence with them on proposals we have made to the company, and their response to these proposals.

“And we are determined to work with Jaguar to make sure we have a strong and dynamic and high technology car industry in this country. So, talks will continue with Jaguar.”

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