Tata Motors’ target of achieving net zero automotive debt by FY24 on track: CFO

Tata Motors’ group CFO PB Balaji said on Wednesday that the target of achieving net zero automotive debt by the financial year 2024 is on track. He said while the target is on track for the domestic business, it has been stretched for the British arm Jaguar Land Rover.

The company had a net automotive debt of 57,000 crore in the third quarter; it began the ongoing financial year with about 48,700 crore of net automotive debt. He was responding to a question on the progress made by the company to achieve its net zero automotive debt by FY24.

PB Balaji also said that the company is committed to the domestic business. “As far as JLR is concerned, we will need to review that in the month of March when we complete the Q4 numbers. But as far as the direction of travel is concerned there is no change…» he said.

He said at the start of the ongoing fiscal, Tata Motors’ net automotive debt was about 48,700 crore and then it went up to around 61,000 crore in the first quarter, which has gone down to 57,000 crore in the third quarter.

On the acquisition of Ford’s Sanand plant, he said it has been completed and it would «unlock capacity of 3,00,000 vehicles per annum, scalable to 4,20,000 vehicles per annum» and «this factory will slowly morph from where it is today to a completely EV production site over a period of time».

Speaking about the semiconductor supply issue, PB Balaji said, “As far as India is concerned, the supply situation has normalised completely.»

For JLR in China, Balaji said Covid-19 lockdown in the third quarter had an impact but all dealerships have been opened in January. The larger challenge was the supply of cars due to the semiconductor issue but there has been progress every quarter. «…and that’s the journey we will continue to be on,» Balaji said.

He said, «We remain cautiously optimistic on the demand situation despite global uncertainties that are all around us. Chips supplies are expected to improve further and volumes will continue to ramp up steadily, particularly in JLR.»

(With agency inputs)

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