175 million Euros in the form of a loan from the State Bank of India was just secured by JLR, and that helps in more ways than one...
Yes, the whole Tata buy-out thing has certainly had its ups and downs, and future MBA's working on their analyses are sure to take a number of different angles on its pros and cons, but this is the reality thus far:
You already know that Tata bought JLR from Ford for - give or take - 1.7 billion Euros in June of '08. At that time, some of us thought "oh no... there goes the brand. This is Britain we're talking about, and now it belongs to its former colony for crying out loud!" Others thought "thank goodness somebody stepped up to preserve the brand before it imploded!"
That left us all wondering what was going to happen? Would all of the manufacturing jobs be shipped over to India, leaving nearly 15,000 British employees SOL? Would they alter the vehicle design so dramatically that it would no longer resemble the uber-sport-ute that invented the category? Would they re-sell it... or toss it all together?
Only time would tell.
So here we are, a year and a half later, 280 million Euros in the hole and nearly a third fewer sales, 450 lost jobs (or "redundancies" as they termed them) and with the almost certainty of the closure of at least one of its manufacturing branches in either Castle Bromwich or (gasp!) the legendary Solihull. Tata outright refused to work with the U.K. government, saying the terms of their - let's call it a stimulus package - were too "onerus."
But a carmaker of this magnitude is not ignored by the financial sources at large, and so far Tata has secured 500 million Euros in total this year to keep it afloat from wide-eyed optimists like the Standard Chartered Bank, the Bank of Boroda and Burdale Financial Limited, a subsidiary of the Bank of Ireland. Read into that what you like.
"We are pleased our funding plans are progressing and appreciate the confidence shown by our banking partners in our business" said Jaguar's CFO Kenneth Gergor.
Now, if you're a regular reader of this space, you already know how much Tata is committed to the Land Rover brand, and you could, and perhaps should, feel confident that they will put every effort into yanking, dragging, pulling and sweating the marque into the future with green initiatives manifested not only in the vehicles, but in the vehicle manufacturing processes as well.
Yes, we believe the brand is in good hands. We're confident. Times change, and processes change with them. Ebb and flow. Do or die. You can't make an omlette without breaking some eggs. You get the idea.
But like the man said. Only time will tell.
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