Jaguar, Land Rover Drive Tata Motors to Quarterly Profit

Quarterly sales jumped 64%

India's top vehicle maker, Tata Motors, swung to a quarterly profit on August 10 from a year earlier loss, driven by sales of luxury Jaguar and Land Rover cars as well trucks in its Indian domestic market.

The company posted a consolidated net profit of 19.88 billion rupees (US$422 million) in the three-month period to June, strongly beating forecasts, from a net loss of 3.28 billion rupees in the same period a year ago.

Quarterly sales jumped 64% to 268.76 billion rupees.

"Overall economic growth, robust industrial production and availability of liquidity led to strong domestic demand in the quarter, resulting in volume growth for all vehicles," the company said.

Jaguar and Land Rover posted a pre-tax net profit of 15.90 billion rupees for the April-June quarter as sales volumes rose 58% to 57,153 units for the two luxury brands.

"(Jaguar and Land Rover) business was able to show sustained improvement towards solid profitability as demand improved for an enhanced range of products," the company said.

Sales of the two prestige brands were severely hit by the global economic slowdown after Tata Motors bought the carmakers from Ford for $2.3 billion in 2008.

Car sales in India have been on an upswing in the past year, posting a record monthly peak of 158,764 units in July, industry data showed on August 9, led by new model launches and cheap finance.

Tata Motors commands a 61% share of the commercial vehicle market and has a 13.3% share of the passenger car segment in which Japanese-owned Maruti Suzuki is the leader.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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