Tata’s breather: New loan is likely to support the progress of JLR, says Ravi Kant, Tata Motors’ Vice-chairman
INDIA’S Tata Motors said yesterday it received a loan of over half a billion dollars to fund clean car technology research at its British-based premium car unit Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Tata Motors, India’s leading vehicle maker, bought JLR for $2.3bn (£1.5bn) in 2008 from ailing US auto manufacturer Ford Motor Co.
The $519m (£340m) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be used to finance development by JLR of more energy efficient cars for the prestige car segment, Tata Motors said in a statement.
“This will support the progress of the turnaround in Jaguar Land Rover’s business in challenging market conditions,” said Tata Motors vice-chairman Ravi Kant in a statement.
The eight-year EIB loan completes the last major element of a funding plan for JLR, which has been a key part of Tata Motors’ drive to bolster its group balance sheet.
The performance of JLR, maker of luxury Jaguar sedans and Land Rover sport-utility vehicles, pushed its parent to an annual loss for the previous fiscal year as demand for luxury vehicles slid.
The Indian conglomerate approached the EIB last year for funding for research and development aimed at reducing harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and improving vehicle efficiency.
JLR is working on cleaner technology, such as a “stop-start” system to cut the engine of a vehicle standing in traffic to reduce CO2 emissions.
Next year JLR plans to start building the LRX “baby’ Range Rover, slated to be the most environmentally friendly Range Rover model designed to date.
Last year, Tata Motors received over $763m (£500m) of funding for JLR, including from the State Bank of India and Standard Chartered Bank.
Earlier this month, Tata Motors named Peter Forster, former head of General Motors’ European operations, as its chief executive.
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