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Coronavirus: Jaguar seeks state loan as virus hits car industry

Jaguar is reported to be in talks with the UK government about a loan Photo: Getty

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is in talks with the UK government about a request for temporary state funding of more than £1bn ($1.22bn), Sky News has reported. 

The loan request had been lodged with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the report said, citing a source close to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), whose parent company is Tata Motors. 

But Jaguar has denied the story.

Jaguar Land Rover said in an emailed statement to the newswire Reuters: “The claim is inaccurate and speculative. We are in regular discussions with government on a whole range of matters and the content of our private discussions remains confidential.”

Last weekend, The Sunday Times reported that the Indian-owned carmaker was among the companies in which taxpayers could ultimately take an equity stake as part of an extension of efforts to prevent key sectors of the economy collapsing.

JLR a subsidiary of Tata Motors, is a giant of British industry, employing approximately 38,000 people. The company has furloughed around 50% of its non-critical workers during the coronavirus crisis.

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The car industry has been hit hard since lockdown began in March and figures earlier this month showed that sales have fallen to the lowest point since the second world war.

Just 4,321 new cars were registered in April, after car showrooms were banned from staying open as part of attempts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

It compared with 161,064 sales in the same month last year, and was the weakest since 1946 when the UK was emerging from war and resources were still rationed, highlighting the historic extent to which pandemic restrictions have hit the economy.