Jaguar hits 673.4m in losses as it inches towards loan deal

CARMAKER Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) saw its UK operations tumble to a dramatic loss of &pound;673.4m last year, down from a net profit of &pound;641.5m in 2007.<br /><br />Accounts filed at Companies House show that total recognised losses &ndash; which includes money lost on pension schemes &ndash; hit almost &pound;1.2bn for 2008.<br /><br />The news of how the company is struggling through the downturn comes as JLR&rsquo;s owner, Tata Motors, looks to finalise tense talks with the government over the terms of a &pound;175m loan guarantee. <br /><br />Business secretary Lord Mandelson wants Tata, an Indian company, to agree to terms allowing the UK government to veto changes to JLR&rsquo;s business plan. <br /><br />It is understood that the government wants an agreement to be made on its commercial loan package this week, but the fragile talks may stretch out beyond the set time. <br /><br />The &pound;175m figure, which the government wants to grant on a 12-month basis, is much less than Tata had initially asked for. <br /><br />It wanted &pound;500m for commercial financing, and a &pound;340m European Investment Bank loan for research into green cars.<br /><br />Adding further stress to the talks, JLR&rsquo;s owner favours a six-month term, because of worries that the loan would expire in the run-up to a general election in the UK. <br /><br />Tata bought JLR from Ford last year, just as sales of cars&nbsp; began to dwindle.<br /><br />Talks between Mandelson and the company have been ongoing for months. Ideas, such as a suggestion that the taxpayer be represented on JLR&rsquo;s board, have been rejected by the company.