Jaguar Land Rover “much stronger” post pandemic, Co. future ready to be a leader in electrified luxury vehicles, says N Chandrasekaran

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Natrajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Jaguar Land Rover Plc and Tata Group said that the company has delivered a “resilient performance” during a year that has been amongst the most challenging to date with the Covid-19 pandemic causing grief and suffering to humanity at large while adversely impacting the global economy.

He said JLR has come out of the pandemic “much stronger”, with a future-ready strategy that the company will execute flawlessly

For the luxury carmaker, while the pandemic and Brexit resulted in lower consumer demand along with disruptions in production, supply chain and retail networks, the company made a critical contribution to the Tata Group’s worldwide efforts to help communities.

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“Despite a 14% drop in revenue to £19.7 billion, the business improved its EBIT margins by 250 basis points to 2.6% and generated positive free cash flows of £185 million. Looking into the next year and beyond, I am happy that we have come out of the pandemic much stronger, with a future-ready strategy that we will execute flawlessly,” said Chandrasekaran in his address to the shareholders in the FY21 annual report.

The retail sales declined 14% for the year with China being the exception growing by 23%. The all-new Land Rover Defender was a standout performer retailing 45,200 units for the full year as well as winning the 2021 World Car Design of the Year.

During the year, Chandrasekaran said the company had a smooth CEO transition where Thierry Bolloré took over as the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover from Professor Sir Ralf Speth.

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He thanked Ralf Speth for his contributions to make Jaguar Land Rover. He informed that under Speth the company grew its revenues by over 3.5x and its EBITDA by over 6x.

“Under Speth’s leadership, Jaguar Land Rover has become a differentiated luxury OEM with two fabled well-invested brands, a talent base that is world-class, and a set of skills and capabilities that will serve us well for the future,” the chairman highlighted on Speth’s contribution.

He informed the new CEO Thierry has very quickly moved into his role and worked closely with the team and the Board to develop the future Reimagine strategy to make the company a world leader in electrified luxury vehicles, sustainability, manufacturing efficiency and new automotive technologies to deliver a strong market performance which shall create long-term shareholder value.

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Bolloré said that the company’s focus was on value creation through a profit-over-volume approach. “Our goal is to deliver double-digit EBIT margin and become one of the world’s most profitable luxury manufacturers,” he said in the annual report.

The company will focus on sustainability and quality in all aspects of the business, the new CEO said. To that end, the company also created new positions on the board to look after aspects like quality, customer satisfaction, supply chain, product development and creativity with a focus on modern luxury.

“Our plan is not to catch up; our plan is to lead,” Bolloré said.

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Chandrasekaran concured.

“I am very excited by this new aspiration of the company which will help it cement its place as a sustainable mobility leader. We are also working together to drive greater collaboration and synergies within the Tata Group in areas like clean energy, connected services, data and software development,” he said.

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