London: JaguarLand Rover (JLR) has cautioned that it may be forced to slash thousands of jobs in coming months unless the UK government comes forth with financial assistance, and said parent company Tata Motors Ltd is in no position to help because of global downturn in the industry, says media report.
“David Smith, the chief executive of JLR, is understood to have told officials from the department of business, enterprise and regulatory reform (BERR) that it will have no choice but to cut ‘certainly hundreds and probably thousands’ more jobs,” ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ said in a report published online on Sunday.
Hard talk: Business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson was quoted by ‘The Observer’ as saying that the state would act only as a lender of last resort, lowering hopes of speedy intervention by government. Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg
According to the report, JLR has also made the point that its parent company is in no position to help because the downturn in the car industry is global.
The Tata group, which is seeking financial help from the British government, has been backed by unions, which say that the car industry needs support “within days”.
However, business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson said on Sunday that the state would act only as a “lender of last resort”.
He told ‘The Observer’ that the Tata group must “look to their own resources... The government cannot be the first call for help in these circumstances”.
He added: “If there is anything the government can appropriately do for any such company, then they will have to meet—and pass—some pretty tough tests.”
Lord Mandelson told the newspaper he was not indifferent to the plight of the car industry and that the government might be required to help companies vital to employment in the UK.
Earlier, ‘The Sunday Times’ reported that ministers are considering a direct government loan of perhaps £500 million (Rs3,560 crore) to JLR.
(Prasun Sonwalkar of PTI contributed to the story.)