Jaguar Land Rover parent Tata posts a loss over coronavirus

BENGALURU — India’s Tata Motors posted a wider loss for the September quarter on Tuesday as the COVID-19 pandemic sapped demand in several of its key markets.

The global health crisis has hammered sales for automakers worldwide and compounded problems for Tata Motors, which was trying to improve Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) sales amid weak demand and uncertainty related to Brexit. Tata Motors reported a consolidated net loss of 3.14 billion rupees ($42.47 million) for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of 2.17 billion rupees a year earlier.

Retail unit sales at luxury car unit JLR, which rakes in most of the company’s revenue, was down nearly 12% for the reported quarter. Tata Motors, however, said it expects JLR sales to gradually improve.

“Despite concerns around the risk of a second wave of (COVID-19) infections … we expect a gradual recovery of demand and supply in the coming months,” the carmaker said in an exchange filing.

Total revenue from operations fell 18.2% to 535.3 billion rupees.

Tata Motors said it was committed to achieving near-zero net automotive debt in the coming years.

Shares of Tata Motors ended 1.46% higher on Tuesday while the broader Mumbai market settled 1.03% higher.

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