Four years after his high-profile purchase of the iconic Jaguar Land Rover carmakers, industrialist Ratan Tata has said the British economy is so uncompetitive that it’s no longer a favoured destination for manufacturing investments.
“The economic situation, the high cost of undertaking manufacturing, the supply chain – which is dying out as manufacturing undergoes hardship – make the UK not the first place you would look at to make a manufacturing investment,” said Tata, who has turned JLR into a profitable concern. In 2011-2012 the group made pre-tax profits of £1.5bn, up from £1.12bn the year ago, and sales are up 27%.
“In some form, there has to be something like Japan did in the 1960s and 1970s, of saying they would have a major thrust in electronics or the auto industry, and do everything possible for x number of years to make that industry globally competitive [such as] provide incentives to set up plants, to have R&D, to buy technology,” Tata added.
The comments to the Daily Telegraph by the head of Tata Sons, Britain’s largest industrial group, came as Chancellor George Osborne told parliament the economy is predicted to slide into one more year of negative growth at -0.1% in 2012.
Slowdown in services, accounting for 75% of the economy, triggered warnings of ‘triple-dip’ recession. November’s sector growth was the weakest in almost two years.