Tata Motors improves in second half of the year as it prepares for hard Brexit


India’s Tata Motors Ltd TAMO.NS forecast a stronger second half on Tuesday as sales of its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) vehicles improved in key markets even as it continued to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainties over a hard Brexit.

The global health crisis has hammered sales for automakers worldwide and compounded problems for the company’s luxury unit, which, like most companies, will have to face a wall of bureaucracy as Britain casts off from the European Union from Jan. 1.

Tata Motors said while it was prepared for any friction at the border, it hoped for clarity on Brexit to avoid supply chain disruptions and better manage its inventory.

“In the situation of a hard Brexit, we expect to see tariffs definitely come through but we also expect depreciation of the pound, and so the net impact needs to be seen,” Chief Financial Officer PB Balaji told reporters after Tata Motors posted a quarterly loss.

While the automaker may need to correct its inventory level to an extent, it does not have any immediate plans to move production, Balaji said.

Tata Motors posted a consolidated net loss of 3.14 billion rupees ($42.47 million) for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, as retail sales at JLR, which accounts for a major portion of its profit, fell 12%.

Total revenue from operations fell 18% to 535.3 billion rupees, the carmaker said in a filing with the exchange.

The company said it had saved 600 million pounds ($782 million) during the quarter at JLR under Project Charge and was on track to achieve the full-year target of 2.5 billion pounds.