According to the Sunday Times a senior Tata executive has written to Theresa May to tell her the company will continue to invest in its UK operations despite fears over Brexit. Tony McDonough reports
Indian industrial giant Tata has told Prime Minister Theresa May that it is committed to the long-term future of its UK-based Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) operation, despite the uncertainty over Brexit.
According to the Sunday Times, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, has written to Mrs May to tell her the company intends to carrying on investing in the carmaker over the next few years.
Tata bought JLR from for in 2008 for £1.15bn and has transformed what was an ailing operation into one of the most profitable automotive brands in the world.
The news will cheer JLR’s 40,000 workers, including more than 4,000 at Halewood in Merseyside, just two days ahead of Christmas, following reports of falling sales and profits and fears over the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
The newspaper reports that relations between Tata and the British Government had become frosty in recent months following warnings from JLR chief executive Ralf Speth that leaving the EU without a deal threatened profits at the company.
A tough 2018 for sales, both in the UK and its global markets, led to half-year losses of £354m between March and September, compared to profits of £953m for the same period in 2017.
This has forced the company to cut 1,000 agency workers from its West Midlands operation with 2,000 workers at its Castle Bromwich plant put on a three-day week.
Earlier in December JLR would not comment on reports that it intended, early in the New Year, to cut 5,000 people from its workforce as part of a turnaround plan to find cost savings of £2.5bn.
At Halewood, JLR workers assemble the Evoque and Discovery Sport, both hugely successful models, and the company is investing £1bn in the new Evoque model, including £110m at Halewood.