JLR drives surprise profit at Tata Motors

STORY: Jaguar Land Rover just drove a surprise return to the black at parent company Tata Motors.

The Indian firm saw a net profit of about $362 million for the quarter to the end of December.

Analysts had predicted another loss.

Tata benefited from a profit at JLR, which had also been in the red the year before.

The maker of premium SUVs saw higher sales and better pricing.

That offset a hit from higher costs.

Like other automakers, it’s now reaping the gains from a combination of easing commodity costs, and the price hikes made to combat earlier inflation.

Executives think the brand now looks well placed to ride out any inflation or recession concerns.

Tata has also benefited from rising prices and strong demand at home.

Over the past two years, it’s also grown its market share in India.

Rival Maruti Suzuki, which has more than 40% of the Indian market, said earlier that it too beat forecasts and grew margins.