CARMAKER Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) saw its UK operations tumble to a dramatic loss of £673.4m last year, down from a net profit of £641.5m in 2007.
Accounts filed at Companies House show that total recognised losses – which includes money lost on pension schemes – hit almost £1.2bn for 2008.
The news of how the company is struggling through the downturn comes as JLR’s owner, Tata Motors, looks to finalise tense talks with the government over the terms of a £175m loan guarantee.
Business secretary Lord Mandelson wants Tata, an Indian company, to agree to terms allowing the UK government to veto changes to JLR’s business plan.
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.
The £175m figure, which the government wants to grant on a 12-month basis, is much less than Tata had initially asked for.
It wanted £500m for commercial financing, and a £340m European Investment Bank loan for research into green cars.
Adding further stress to the talks, JLR’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.
Tata bought JLR from Ford last year, just as sales of cars began to dwindle.
Talks between Mandelson and the company have been ongoing for months. Ideas, such as a suggestion that the taxpayer be represented on JLR’s board, have been rejected by the company.