Give Ford credit, their timing in unloading Jaguar and Land Rover could not have been better. Despite dwindling sales and the dark looming clouds of factories being shuttered, Tata Motors has finally introduced its Jaguar and Land Rover brands in India, one of the world’s fastest-growing automobile markets. Unfortunately, saddled with the two of the biggest money drains in the auto world, Tata is reporting an annual loss for the first time in eight years. How much have Jaguar and Land Rover cost Tata?
How does $504 million sound? Keep in mind that Tata bought the brands for $2.3 billion from Ford in March 2008. Unfortunately for Tata, the purchase was soon followed by a collapse in the global economy and sales of luxury sedans and S.U.V.’s (essentially the entire Jaguar/Land Rover product catalog) have been hit especially hard. According to Reuters, during a 10-month period ending in March, Jaguar Land Rover sales fell to 167,000 vehicles, compared to 246,000 in the same period the previous year.
Tata continues to maintain that they are very pleased with their decision and looking forward to turning the brands around. How a company that is built almost exclusively on economy cars can manage to restore two of the most elitist lines of vehicles is debatable however. Tata’s cheapest car, the Nano, start at $2,200. Land Rover products in India will begin at more than $120,000. Good luck Mr. Tata.