SHANGHAI -- Jaguar Land Rover has entered into agreements with lenders in China for a secured term loan facility of 5 billion yuan ($704.5 million), its first debt financing in China.
Arthur Yu, chief financial officer of Jaguar Land Rover China, said the Chinese banks that would provide a three-year revolving loan included Bank of China, ICBC, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.
The fund-raising comes as the coronavirus pandemic has hit global automakers' supply chains and sales. The Chinese market used to account for 25 percent to 30 percent of JLR's global sales, but over the past two months made up 50 percent, with dealerships open there but largely closed in Europe and North America, Yu said.
The loan facility "can help JLR China better manage cash flow amid the coronavirus epidemic," Yu said on Friday.
JLR, which imports cars and also has a manufacturing partnership in the eastern Chinese city of Changshu with Wuhu-based Chery Automobile, said its China sales in April were level with same period last year, and it saw sales growth in May.
Yu said the company expects sales of China's luxury car segment this year to be level with last year or see slight growth.
In the UK, JLR is seeking a government aid package to the coronavirus pandemic, according to recent reports. It is seeking to borrow more than 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion) through the British government's emergency lending program, Bloomberg and Sky News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
JLR is also requesting tax breaks, research grants and other subsidies, which could bring the total value of the state support to more than 2 billion pounds, Bloomberg reported.
JLR is a crucial unit for its parent, Tata Motors, which has been struggling during the coronavirus crisis. An investment group said recently that Tata is worth nothing without JLR. Tata has already received a lifeline from parent Tata Sons in the form of a preferential equity allotment, and brokers say further aid could be required.