Thursday, July 22, 2010

JAGUAR LAND ROVER BRANDS RANK IN THE TOP FIVE AMONG NAMEPLATES IN J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES 2010 AUTOMOTIVE PERFORMANCE, EXECUTION AND LAYOUT STUDY

Jaguar Ranks 2nd among Nameplates; While Land Rover
Ranks 5th, Improving Four Ranking Positions and Range
Rover Receives the Award for Large Premium
Crossover/SUV, In a Study that Measures Customers'
Delight with the Design, Features and Layout of Their
Vehicles

MAHWAH, N.J., JULY 15, 2010 – According to J.D. Power and Associates
2010 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM
released today, Jaguar ranks 2nd among nameplates for the third year in row
with a score of 854; while Land Rover ranks 5th among nameplates with an
overall score of 836, improving four ranking positions from 2009. Land
Rover's Range Rover is the award recipient for Large Premium
Crossover/SUV. The APEAL study examines design and performance
characteristics across 33 brand nameplates that make a new vehicle a
delight to own and drive, and is based on owner evaluations of more than 90
vehicle attributes.

"We are proud of our vehicle performance rankings," says Gary Temple,
President of Jaguar Land Rover North America. "Having Jaguar and Land
Rover rank highly in this important owner satisfaction study highlights the fact
that we are one premium automotive company with two luxury brands
committed to providing our customers with high quality vehicles that deliver
extraordinary performance, innovative technology, and superior styling."
With the addition of the all-new 2011 model year Jaguar XJ and the highly
anticipated launch of the Range Rover Evoque next year, both brands are
positioned for growth in the coming years.

With an overall score of 854, Jaguar, this year, surpasses the industry
average of 778 by 76 points. It is the third consecutive year that Jaguar earns
a 2nd place ranking among nameplates. The Jaguar XF ranks 3rd among
vehicles in the Midsize Premium Car segment with a score of 852; 8 points
higher than the midsize premium car segment average and receives high
scores in the engine/transmission category.

With an overall score of 836, Land Rover improves its ranking position by four, from 9th to 5th place,
scoring 58 points above the industry average. This is the fourth consecutive year of score improvements
for Land Rover.

Range Rover is the award recipient for Large Premium Crossover/SUV with a score of 847, and receives
high scores in vehicle interior, vehicle exterior, driving dynamics and visibility and driving safety
categories.
In 2010, the APEAL score for all-new and redesigned models averages 801 on a 1,000-point scale — 11
points higher than in 2009. The J.D. Power and Associates APEAL Study examines how gratifying a new
vehicle is to own and drive based on owner evaluations of more than 90 vehicle attributes. The study's
unique approach to measuring owner satisfaction and how much a customer likes or dislikes virtually
every aspect of their new vehicle provides a powerful tool to manufacturers to influence future product
development.

The 2010 APEAL Study is based on responses gathered between November 2009 and February 2010
from more than 82,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2010 model-year cars and trucks who were
surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tata Motors to Raise $1 Billion to Pare Debt From Jaguar, Land Rover Deals

Tata Motors Ltd., the Indian owner of Jaguar and Land Rover, plans to raise as much as 47 billion rupees ($1 billion) to expand operations and pare debt accumulated for the purchase of the luxury brands.

“The timing and structure of the issues will be decided depending upon market conditions post shareholders’ and other approvals,” Tata Motors said in the statement today.

Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle maker, had debt of 185.3 billion rupees, according to Bloomberg data. The company took on loans to purchase the luxury vehicle unit from Ford Motor Co. for $2.5 billion in 2008.

“Tata may take about 6 months to one year to raise the full amount,” said Umesh Karne, a Mumbai-based analyst at BRICS Securities Ltd. “They may be able to get good valuation as the Indian auto industry is doing very well and there are no big concerns in the short term.”

Jaguar Land Rover is targeting growth in emerging markets by opening more showrooms in India and setting up a sales company in China, where its full-year deliveries doubled from 8,821 in a 10-month transitional period ended March 2009. Setting up production in China would require one to two years after the company made any decision on partners and a location, Chief Executive Officer Carl-Peter Forster said May 28.

Tata Motors rose 2.7 percent to 789.25 rupees in Mumbai trading. The shares have fallen 0.3 percent this year compared with a 1.8 percent gain for the benchmark Sensex.

Fund Raising

In October, Tata Motors raised $750 million selling global depository receipts and convertible bonds. The size of the offering was increased 25 percent after the initial fund-raising target had been met in less than an hour.

The automaker sold a 20 percent stake in its construction equipment venture to Japanese partner Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. for 11.6 billion rupees in March. Tata Motors also offered in the same month to convert some of the bonds into shares about a year early to reduce its debt and preserve cash.

The maker of the world’s cheapest car, the Nano, raised 41 billion rupees through a rights offer in October 2008. The company’s founders, the Tata Group, invested 30 billion rupees by subscribing to the offer. Tata Group’s other businesses include making steel, computer software, tea and power.

Tata Motors’ corporate family rating was raised to B2 from B3 at Moody’s Investors Service in April with a positive outlook. The rating upgrade reflected the quick turnaround in the operating performance of the Jaguar Land Rover business, Moody’s said.

Tata Motors returned to a profit in the fiscal year ended in March after the luxury unit had a pretax profit and sales gained amid economic growth.

Jaguar Land Rover had a pretax profit of 32 million pounds ($48.23 million) in the year ended in March as the global economy began to recover from the worst recession since World War II. Tata also reduced its workforce to cut costs at its U.K.-based luxury vehicle unit.