Tata Motors assures UK PM May of JLR commitment despite brexit row: Report

Jaguar Land Rover, jlr File photo: More than 40,000 workers are employed by Jaguar Land Rover in the UK



Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata Motors has reportedly assured Prime Minister Theresa May of the company's commitment to Britain's automotive industry despite the ongoing turmoil of Brexit.

According to 'The Sunday Times', Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran is understood to have written to the British premier to stress that the Tata Group plans to keep investing in JLR and has no intention of selling the firm.

The UK newspaper quoted sources as saying that the letter was designed to reassure ministers in Britain about its long-term commitment to the UK as it seeks government support for electric and driverless technology, and for building a battery factory in the Midlands region of England.

The report comes amid reports of JLR being forced to make job cuts, shedding more than 1,000 agency staff and putting 2,000 workers at its Castle Bromwich plant in the West Midlands on a three-day week.

JLR CEO Ralf Speth has made regular interventions to warn against a "hard Brexit", or crashing out of the European Union (EU) without a good deal in place, which would adversely hit the car maker's supply chains and sales.

The Tata Group had acquired the iconic British luxury car brand from Ford in 2008 for USD 2.3 billion, reviving its sagging fortunes to a profitable company employing 40,000 staff. However, falling diesel sales, waning consumer confidence, a collapse in the Chinese market and Brexit contingency planning have wreaked havoc in recent months.

The Midlands-based company racked up half-year losses of 354 million pounds between March and September, reversing profits of 953 million pounds for the same period a year earlier.

The Tata Group declined to comment on the letter quoted in UK media.