REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

India’s Tata Motors Monday reported a loss of $1.3 billion for the first three months of this year as sales in its key markets of China and Europe were hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mumbai-headquartered firm had just returned to the black in the previous quarter amid Chinese demand for its British luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover.

The 98.94 billion rupees ($1.3 billion) net loss for the January-March quarter followed a net profit of 11.17 billion rupees for the same period last year.

“The auto industry faced strong headwinds in FY20 amidst a slowing economy due to multiple factors… all leading to weak consumer sentiments and subdued demand across segments,” Tata Motors chief executive Guenter Butschek said in a statement.

“Disruption in the supply chain induced by the pandemic and the nationwide lockdown in mid-March 2020 added to the problems.”

The company forecast a weak April-June — the first quarter of the 2021 financial year — which coincided with widespread virus lockdowns across its Europe, UK and Chinese markets.

But it expects a gradual recovery of sales and improved cash flows for rest of the financial year.