Jaguar Land Rover is dragging Tata Motors along in its downward spiral

  • Credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded Tata Motors continuing with a negative outlook for the company.
  • Tata Motors shares fell by 3% after the Moody’s report.
  • The decline in Tata Motors comes from the continued sluggish sales from Jaguar Land Rover.
Jaguar Land Rover has become a white elephant for Tata Motors as the mounting debt at the British luxury automobile giant is weighing down the entire group.

Global ratings agency Moody’s believes that Jaguar Land Rover will probably default on its loans.

"The downgrade reflects Moody's expectation that leverage will remain elevated and free cash flow negative for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 as Jaguar Land Rover seeks to turn around performance in China, executes its restructuring program and continues to invest in its future model line-up including electrification," said Tobias Wagner, Vice-President and Senior Analyst at Moody's.

Tata Motors’ shares fell 3% on Friday after the downgrade.

Jaguar Land Rover global sales continued to decline in May with the company reporting a 12% dip in May 2019. Brexit, US-China trade war and signs of a slowdown in the global economy could be the reasons for the losses incurred by JLR. China, which has traditionally been one of the biggest markets for the luxury car.

For the quarter ending December 31, Tata Sons’ Jaguar Land Rover saw a loss of $3.4 billion following a big write-down. It was also in cost cutting mode, and reportedly axed 4,500 jobs late last year.

"The downgrade reflects our expectation that it will take longer than we had previously expected for the company's free cash flows to return to positive territory," said Kaustubh Chaubal, Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer, adding that rising competition, the potential for a 'no-deal' Brexit, and the possibility of US tariffs cast bigger shadows on the company's prospects.

JLR is landing heavily on Tata Motors which is facing challenges in the Indian market which is now facing sales slowdown leading to overcapacity in the market, as the number of auto dealers are shrinking.
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