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Why Shares of Tata Motors Are Down Sharply Today

By John Rosevear – Feb 28, 2020 at 11:21AM

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An antitrust investigation added to investors' virus worries.

What's happening

Shares of Indian automaker Tata Motors (TTM 2.23%) were down sharply on Friday morning as a new antitrust investigation added to auto investors' concerns about virus-related parts shortages at its important Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary.

As of 11:00 a.m. EST, Tata's American Depositary Shares were down about 9.3% from Thursday's closing price.

So what

Tata's shares have been under pressure since the CEO of its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) subsidiary, Ralf Speth, said on Feb. 18 that shutdowns at suppliers in China could leave JLR's factories short of critical parts and that sales in China had essentially ground to a halt as the novel coronavirus kept consumers away from dealerships.

JLR postponed a planned bond issue last week after investors demanded too high an interest rate to compensate for the coronavirus-related risk, Bloomberg reported.

A silver Jaguar I-PACE, an electric luxury crossover SUV.

A Jaguar I-PACE. Production of Jaguar and Land Rover models may have to be halted due to shortages of parts from China. Image source: Jaguar Land Rover.

JLR contributes roughly 85% of Tata Motors' revenue.

Adding to the selling pressure, Reuters reported on Friday that India's antitrust regulator is examining allegations that Tata Motors and two related finance firms broke competition laws by dictating terms to a former dealer.

Tata's shares closed down more than 11% on India's national stock exchange on Friday.

Now what

Automakers -- and auto investors -- have been playing a waiting game as China battles the virus that has shut down much of the country for the last several weeks. Until it's clear when China manufacturing (and car shopping) will return to normal, expect pressure on Tata's stock price to continue.

John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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