Tata to scrap UK electric cars project if 10-mn pound loan is delayed

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London, July 19 (ANI): Tata Motors executives will warn Business Secretary Lord Mandelson that they will scrap plans to build electric cars in the UK if it does not receive a 10 million pound loan soon.

The company is furious after being told by officials from Mandelson's Business Department last week that it needed more time to find out if the venture will be considered for the loan, taking the total waiting time to six months.

Recently, Mandelson launched the UK's "low carbon industrial strategy" with great fanfare, aimed at helping manufacturers of technologies like electric cars, The Guardian reports.

In April, Tata Motors registered its expression of interest to apply for the 10 million pound loan to help launch the new Vista electric vehicle, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this year, and build an assembly line for it in the UK.

But last Tuesday, the company was told that it would take another eight weeks for the Business Department to decide whether it had met the necessary criteria and can be considered for the loan.

One Tata Motors executive wrote to colleagues complaining of having to "jump through hoops" to make sure the company could repay the loan, the paper reports.

Executives will meet Ian Lucas MP, who oversees the 2.3 billion pound car assistance package, and deliver a petition signed by senior managers from Tata Motors' R and D centre, TMETC, based at Warwick University, which helped design the car.

Tata Motors' Norwegian subsidiary, Miljo, has already been awarded a six million pound loan and a one million pound grant from the Norwegian Government for electric cars.

Tata Motors also remains in deadlock in talks with the department over securing support for Jaguar Land Rover.

The firm secured 292 million pound loan from the European Investment Bank in April, but this needs to be guaranteed by the British Government and the two sides still cannot reach agreement on the conditions, the paper reports. (ANI)

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