The story behind Jaguar Land Rover’s proposed government bailout

British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has gone to the Government for support to steer it through the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, owned by India’s Tata Motors, is Britain’s biggest car manufacturer employing more than 38,000 people making luxury Jaguar saloons and 4x4s under the Land Rover and Range Rover brands, such as the new Defender. 

While the business has been a crown jewel of British industry for decades, coronavirus has savaged car sales and left the automotive industry desperate for a reprieve. 

This weekend, it was reported that JLR had gone to the Treasury for a state support package thought to be in excess of £1bn. Sky News reported it is the largest bespoke loan package request from a private company in the crisis. 

A spokesman said: “JLR is constantly in discussion with Government on a whole range of matters relating to COVID and we will not discuss details which are confidential and private.”

What has happened at JLR? And is the Government likely to take a stake in it?

What is the state of JLR’s business?

Like many carmakers, JLR has been forced into drastic changes by coronavirus. 

The car firm is owned by India’s Tata, which bought it for £1.1bn from Ford in 2008, seen as a steal at the time. 

Around 20,000 of its staff have been furloughed because they cannot work in factories or shop floors and are being paid for by the taxpayer. This week, around 2,000 staff returned to work for the first time since the crisis erupted. 

Car sales had been suffering before the crisis but the downturn in the first three months of the year  exacerbated the industry’s woes. In March, JLR reported sales in China, a major luxury car market, had fallen by 85pc. In its main financial results in April, JLR was reporting global sales were down 31pc to 110,000 vehicles.

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