Profit at Tata Motors slides but beats forecast, share price plummets anyway

Billy Bambrough
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Tata Motors has rebranded the unfortunately named Zica model, due similarities to the Zika virus (Source: Getty)

Indian car maker and owner of Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors, has reported a profit slump of of two per cent in the third quarter, hitting 35.1bn rupees (£357m), as China’s economic slowdown drags on sales.

Tata Motor’s share price is down to its lowest level since August 2013, closing down 5.5 per cent with the benchmark Sensex index lower by 3.4 per cent.

Tata Motors recently decided to rebrand the unfortunately named and heavily marketed Zica model, due to the widespread press attention on the mosquito borne Zika virus.

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The company blamed the dip in profit on a weaker car line up, though it is planning on revamping its lineup of compact hatchbacks and sedans in India to better compete with Suzuki and Hyundai.

Mumbai-based carmaker, India’s largest auto group by sales, managed to beat analyst expectations of 27.6bn rupees, however. Net profit came in at 35.8bn rupees in the previous quarter.

Sales of luxury cars for the Jaguar Land Rover unit in China tumbled by 10 per cent as the economic deceleration impacts on consumer spending.

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Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speth said the company does see scope for further growth in China.

“We’re seeing the Chinese volumes coming back and the market stabilizing,” Speth said at a press conference in Mumbai. “We are cautiously optimistic about China.”

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