As Jaguar and Land Rover cough, Tata catches a cold
After the period of success, that of inconvenience? We remember the good old days when the Indian Tata bought the English Jaguar Land Rover and developed it at full speed. We also remember the Jaguar I Pace, the first premium electric motor marketed just before Mercedes and Audi rushed into the field. A win on the pole, celebrated by the 2019 Car of the Year trophy. We always remember the Land Rover Evoque, also a pioneer in the small SUV field, which was a hit in the nice neighborhoods.
Tata loses $620 million in one quarter
It was a short time ago, and yet it was a thousand years ago. Because today is no more time for pomp. Tata just released its second-quarter 2020 results, and they’re not good: The company is in the sixth straight quarter of losses, and for this spring they come in at around $620 million. Losses unrelated to local operations rose 8.3% but actually with the UK subsidiary falling 11.3% over the same period.
A decline that repeats itself. Since the beginning of 2020, Jaguar-Land Rover has registered the strongest jerk in the European market with -34.7%. Worse, in France, the two brands combined fell 44% in six months. Enough to give boss Thierry Bolloré, ex-CEO of Renault on an interim basis, a bad summer. The man who was recently called to the Indo-British manufacturer’s bedside rescue decided a year ago to strike hard, decreeing that Jaguar would no longer be a premium brand but instead hunt in the land of luxury. almost in the land of Porsche, Maserati and other Bentleys. All this at prices that should start at 115,000 euros.
Why not ? Except that the current Jaguars are aging while waiting for the English parent company to deign to invest in its subsidiary that is changing floors. The XE blows out its seven candles in general indifference, the I Pace is the company’s only electric and its potential customers only have eyes for Tesla. A rise in the direction of luxury, which is therefore initially not accompanied by adequate products, but by an initial price surge. The entry ticket for the British cat rose from 39,000 to 55,000 euros. Result: The decline in sales continues.
But what about Land Rover in this case? Premium or luxury, the gentleman-farmer’s brand no longer knows which hoop to dance to. Between a more feminine Evoque with an average price of 55,000 euros, a Range Rover or a Velar, which focus on luxury, and a Defender, which leaves the trace of the rustic with prices starting at around 70,000 euros, the venerable English house is running several hands into one Time.
So somehow Jaguar-Land Rover is trying to exist, electrifying itself a little bit by doing a lot of hybridizing and trying to win back a few customers with FlexFuel programming. And as prices have skyrocketed despite lower sales, traders continue to make a living. For how long ? The announced and necessary switch to electric also requires high investments at JLR. It is still required that the parent company deigns to consent to it. Hello Tata? he is your nephew from england…