Tata Motors erases domestic debt, targets net-cash goal for JLR in FY25

Tata Motors' EV volumes grew 47% in FY24 compared to FY23. (Photo: Reuters)
Tata Motors' EV volumes grew 47% in FY24 compared to FY23. (Photo: Reuters)


  • The company reported an over three-fold jump in its consolidated net profit to 17,407 crore for Q4, from 5,408 crore in the same period last fiscal

New Delhi: Tata Motors said on Friday its domestic automotive business turned net cash in the quarter ended 31 March, successfully concluding a deleveraging journey it had embarked upon in 2020, when an enormous debt of over 48,000 crore dragged down its passenger vehicle business.

The company reported an over three-fold jump in its consolidated net profit to 17,407 crore for Q4FY24, from 5,408 crore in the same period last fiscal, led by record sales of Range Rover luxury sports utility vehicles (SUVs) by its UK-headquartered subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover across the UK and overseas markets. JLR reported a record Q4 and FY24 revenue of £7.9 billion and £29.0 billion respectively, and reduced its net debt to £0.7 billion by the end of the financial year.

The maker of commercial vehicles, cars and SUVs clocked a 13% growth in its consolidated revenue at about 1.2 trillion for the January-March quarter, and an operating income of 17,900 crore, up 26.6% year-on-year, beating Bloomberg estimates.

PB Balaji, group chief financial officer, Tata Motors, reiterated that the company is now determined to become zero net-debt, as JLR sets out firmly on a path to become net-cash in FY25. The automaker's commercial vehicle arm, too, saw improved profitability and record revenues in Q4, even as its wholesale volumes softened during the quarter on a yearly basis.

ALso read: Is the Tata Motors demerger a strategic gambit or a non-event?

While all of Tata Motors' auto businesses are on a firm footing, Balaji said the outlook for the company's India passenger vehicle business is 'relatively weaker' for the first half of the ongoing fiscal year. The carmaker said it expects market growth rate to moderate as pent-up demand is exhausted, high channel inventory presents a challenge for production and factors such as the ongoing general elections and a heatwave in many parts of the country add to uncertainty in demand.

However, the company expects its electric vehicle segment, growth in which has slowed year-on-year, to see a significant spurt after the launch of the Curvv, a coupe-style electric SUV, and is targeting sales of over 100,000 EVs this fiscal - a milestone the company had missed in FY24.

Interestingly, while Tata Motors grew its overall passenger vehicle volumes in FY24, EVs accounted for 13% of its total sales last fiscal, down from 16% in FY23 and 20% in FY22, as an initial crop of early adopters of eco-friendly vehicles dwindles, despite the launch of new electric models like the Punch EV, as well as a full-model refresh of its flagship Nexon EV.

Tata Motors' EV volumes grew 47% in FY24 compared to FY23.

"It is normal for any developing market to hold on to stability for a bit and then work on what's stopping adoption, clear the pathway and then start acting again", Balaji said. “Our entire focus this year is to work on the market development front, on infrastructure and on stepping up EV penetration – and that is a nice place to be because it will also give us excellent returns as we start solving those barriers to adoption", he added.

Balaji said the company is considering whether Tata Motors will locally assemble its luxury vehicles from JLR in India in a new facility it is set to construct in Tamil Nadu. He also said the company is considering whether it will participate in the government's new EV policy for exports, and “all options are on the table".

The company said internal teams are drawing up the demerger plan to separately list its passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle subsidiaries, with the process of demerger expected to complete over the next 12 months.

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