With threatening supply lines at Brexit, a reversal of growth in China, a range of old sedans and a high price for the development of new electric vehicles, Tata Motors would look to sell a few Jaguar Land Rovers.
Tata Group, the company that bought the 2008 Land Rover Jaguar from Ford, is looking to turn JLR into a joint venture or to sell some of it, according to Bloomberg:
The largest Indian conglomerate is considering alternatives ranging from a divestment to a minority stake in seeking a partner at risk that would jointly develop vehicles and reduce costs, said the population, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The company is currently holding talks with potential advisers and discussions could lead to no dealings, they said.
A little more than ten years after the purchase of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, the company has gone from gemstone to load. It culminated in the biggest loss in Indian history last month when Tata dramatically reduced the value of the asset.
Jaguar Land Rover has been hit hard by the decline in sales in China, the abandonment of combustion and diesel engines and the brand's strong historical ties with the UK, where the concern aroused by a disruptive Brexit weighed on demand and prompted some brands to shift production. The largest shopping center
But Tata is not very interested in giving control of JLR to other parties, according to Bloomberg sources, but it is open to anyone who wants to offer them "new equity". I find that very relevant.
JLR representatives declined to comment on Bloomberg's story, but a Tata spokeswoman told Bloomberg: "The rumors that Tata Motors is planning to sell its stake in JLR is not true, and we are not We would not like to comment further on the slightest market speculation. "
Which, of course, considering the fact that the history of Bloomberg reads a bit as if someone from Tata had leaked this information in the form of a giant sign "FOR SALE – PARTS ONLY On JLR.
JLR's immediate problems concern diesel engines, which recently accounted for 90% of its sales in Europe but are now in decline, with governments around the world lobbying companies to favor alternative fuels. The company announced 4,500 layoffs in December, most of which targeted British employees. The group also announced a loss of $ 4 billion in the last quarter of 2018, which is quite brutal, needless to say.
Speaking of the UK, however, JLR faces another immediate problem as the Brexit countdown begins. A Brexit without agreement would be a huge puzzle for most UK-based carmakers as it threatens the flow of supply between the country and the European continent, increasing costs for businesses and consumers.
In China, JLR has attempted to position itself as a direct competitor of BMW, as pointed out by Bloomberg's article by Professor David Bailey of Aston Business School, but his luxury vehicles have not been successful to land with Chinese buyers, forcing the company to offer massive incentives that bothered Chinese dealers.
While China remains the largest automotive market in the world, nationwide auto sales fell for the first time in 20 years last year, which is not a big trend for those who have still struggling to get a foothold.
The Jaguar side of the Jaguar Land Rover still does not have its range of aging sedans, and even though its two crossovers – E-Pace and F-Pace – have been a hit, F-Pace's sales have also declined at last few months. On the Land Rover side, the Range Rover Coupé, an expensive project whose market was limited, even under the best conditions, was cut before being put into production.
In addition to all these problems, JLR is trying to solve its diesel crisis by further developing a range of electric vehicles that began with the I-Pace Jaguar. It also costs a lot of money.
If the news of Tata Group looking for friends with big portfolios is not really promising, this seems like a reasonable pursuit given the current global market that seems anything but friendly to British luxury automakers for the moment.
Hopefully, a good deal between the EU and the UK will be concluded, or the Brexit will be completely reversed in another vote, and JLR will have a little more time to relocate to China and phase out its diesel offerings. But given the political hell in politics in recent years, it's probably wise to find money just in case.