Shutdown of UK Jaguar plant spurs sell-off in Tata Motors

By BLOOMBERG

MUMBAI • Jaguar Land Rover’s owner Tata Motors Ltd fell to the lowest level in more than six years in Mumbai trading after the luxury carmaker said it was shuttering production because of weak demand in China.

Production at Solihull plant in the UK will be stopped for two weeks in October, the company said after sales in China declined 46% last month. Demand in the world’s biggest auto market dropped because of uncertainty resulting from import duty changes and continued trade tensions, the automaker said in an emailed statement on Monday.

Performance of the marquee brands is critical for Tata, which gets more than three-fourths of its revenue from the UK units it bought from Ford Motor Co about a decade ago. Chinese vehicle sales have been tumbling for carmakers including General Motors Co, as slowing economic growth, a weakening currency and losses in the stock market add to the woes from a tit-for-tat trade dispute with the US.

Shares of Tata Motors slumped 14.7% to 181.25 rupees (RM10.15) at 12:20pm in Mumbai yesterday, the lowest intraday level since January 2012. Analysts are still optimistic about the company, with 29 of 41 analysts tracked by Bloomberg having a ‘Buy’ rating on the stock.