Stock Analysis: Is Tata Motors share a good buy?

Published: November 22, 2020 at 12:12 pm

Last Updated on December 29, 2021 at 5:51 pm

In this article, let us try and answer if Tata Motors share is a good buy. Investors holding on to Tata Motors stock haven’t got respite and stock has been seeing the levels last seen almost a decade ago but is it worth to hold onto the stock and that too in the automobile segment which is facing headwinds from all the sides.

About the author:  Ravi Kumar has a degree in Computer Engineering. He is interested in Behavioural Finance, Stock market, reading Indian History and Mythology. Disclaimer: No part of this article should be construed as investment advice. Also by the same author: (1) Is IDFC First Bank share worth buying? (2) ITC Dividend Analysis (3) Stock Analysis: Is Reliance Industries Ltd Worth Buying? (4) Stock analysis: Is Tata Consumer Products share worth a buy?

The stock has seen a 33% rally in just 1 month and more than 100% in the past 6 months to give a breather.

Tata Motors Close Price Adjusted for split Jan 1991 to Nov 2020
Tata Motors Close Price Adjusted for split Jan 1991 to Nov 2020

Let’s take a dig into the Tata Motors stock to understand what the company has gone through in the past decade and what that implies for long term investors.

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Tata Motors is a part of Tata Group, an Indian conglomerate. Its products include passenger cars, trucks, vans, coaches, buses, sports cars, construction equipment and military vehicles.

Tata Motors Key concerns of the business
Tata Motors Key concerns of the business Source:

Key concerns the company has faced in the past which caused ‘long term pain’ to the investors.

Tata Motors Business Profile
Tata Motors Business Profile. Source:
  1. Automobiles are a CAPEX heavy industry, companies need to invest heavily into plants, technology, patents, machinery, equipment and even dealer networks to meet the end customer demands. All these require upfront investments that a company has to make to be up and running. Needless to say, if a company still manages to launch a successful product, there awaits tough competition to challenge the products on many fronts: be it a brand image, after-sales service, maintenance costs of the product, the resale value of the vehicles and product quality itself.
  2. On top of it, the ever-changing technological environment [emerging Electrical Vehicles] demands companies to consistently invest in emerging technologies to remain relevant in the market. Overall, this has led Tata Motors to become debt-heavy and the company hasn’t been able to even report profits in the past couple of years.
  3. A big chunk of revenues for the company come from JLR [Jaguar Land Rover] business and the primary market for the business in Europe, the Americas and China. The company faced severe headwinds due to the strict emissions control or ban imposed on diesel cars by the European countries. [Check Recent announcement: newer vehicles to be electric-only from 2030 in the UK] This led to analysts writing down stock valuations as well as companies losing customers on the diesel segment.
  4. Brexit: JLR business is driven from the UK and exports vehicles to customers located in the EU market, once Brexit becomes reality then companies operating out of the EU geography are expected to face pressure as the existing free trade agreements are bound to be reviewed or additional customs/taxes might come to haunt the companies.
  5. The domestic market in India didn’t give a breather to the company either when BS6 emissions came into force and companies relying heavily on Diesel technology had to offload BS4 stock within a stipulated time frame and give way to costlier BS6 vehicles. The market is taking time to absorb the BS6 technology-supported vehicles [cost escalations due to BS6 technology] and this is causing the companies esp. present in Diesel segment to face headwinds.
  6. Just when the company was battling on all the fronts, COVID-19 gave a blow to the entire automobile industry when all the commercial activity and movement of goods was halted, additionally, public transport became a no-go zone and buses suddenly came to halt. [Company is a market leader in the transport and logistics segment]
Tata Motors Profit and loss numbers from
Tata Motors Profit and loss numbers from

We have talked about most of the concerns the company faced and investors have been taking the brunt of this on the stock performance. The company is shying away from paying dividends from almost the past 6 years due to repayment of debts or reporting of losses in the books. Now, let’s look at what’s in store for the investors going ahead.

If you analyze the financial statements released by the company to the exchanges, the first thing you will notice is the improvement in the FCFs [Free Cash Flows]. The company had faced huge pressure on the books due to debt as well as due to heavy CAPEX that the company had to undergo, but now it appears there is a light end of the tunnel. Let’s go into each business of the company and see how it is performing:

Jaguar Land Rover

Tata Motors EBIT PBT and FCF
Tata Motors EBIT PBT and FCF. Source:


  • Volume & Revenue: Significant improvement Q-o-Q across all markets; China sales up Y-o-Y; Other markets still below pre-Covid levels
  • Profitability: Positive PBT of £65m and EBIT of 0.3% despite lower volumes YoY
  • Cash Flows: Strong Positive FCF of £463m driven by working capital improvement and operational efficiencies.

Tata Motors [Standalone Business]

Tata Motors Key Figures representation
Tata Motors Key Figures representation, Source


  • Volume & Revenue: Significant improvement both on Q-o-Q and Y-o-Y basis.
  • Profitability: EBITDA positive
  • Cash Flows: Strong Positive FCF, driven by working capital improvement and operational efficiencies.

Commercial Vehicles

Tata Motors Profitability commercial vehicles
Tata Motors Profitability commercial vehicles. source


  • Volume & Revenue: Commercial vehicles operations significantly impacted due to COVID-19 as most commercial activities remain closed during the past 2 quarters
  • Profitability: EBITDA improvement is seen due to operational efficiency

Passenger Vehicles

Tata Motors Profitability Passenger vehicles
Tata Motors Profitability Passenger vehicles. Source


  • Volume & Revenue: Significant improvement both on Q-o-Q and Y-o-Y basis.
  • Passenger Vehicles: Strong sales reported
  • Wholesale units as well as retail units both experienced improvement in QoQ and YoY basis.
  • Profitability: Revenue increased both on a QoQ and YoY basis.
  • EBITDA improvement is seen due to operational efficiency

Another important aspect that should catch investors attention is the improvement in market share for passenger vehicles: The passenger car division of the company has been able to move the needle and increase the market share due to various factors ranging from new product launches to renewed product dealer feedback mechanism. This effort made by the company is starting to reflect in the passenger car division where the company now stands 3rd largest car manufacturer in the domestic market by sales figures.

Industry Growth and TML PV growth of Tata Motors
Industry Growth and TML PV growth of Tata Motors. Source
Market share Comparison of Vehicle brands
Market share Comparison of Vehicle brands. Source

The numbers for October FY2020 are not representative for the entire FY 2020-21 but still present the direction in which the company is proceeding. The company not only gained market share but also showed significant improvement in passenger car sales figures, which implies the trust shown by customers again towards the company’s vehicles.

Another key aspect which is of interest to the investors is the promoters shareholding pattern in the stock of the company. The promoter shareholding of the company has improved in the past 1 year which reflects the confidence shown by the promoter group towards the business of the company.

Shareholding pattern for Tata Motors
Shareholding pattern for Tata Motors. Source

Let us now summarize:

  • The company has been focusing on reducing debt, improving operational efficiency, and generation of free cash flows, as stated by the management in the recent events:
    • The company has been in the news recently for all the right reasons where Tata Motors Chairperson N Chandrasekaran said the company would be debt-free in the next coming three years. Source: Tata Motors shares gain 8.5% on the company’s goal to bring debt to near zeros
    • A recovery in key markets of Jaguar and Land Rover —the US, Europe, China, the UK — coupled with cost curtailment efforts and tightly controlled capital expenditure will help Tata Motors group generate free cash flow at the business level and reduce debt to near-zero level, P B Balaji, chief financial officer, said at a recent investor meet organised by Motilal Oswal.
  • Pickup in domestic sales volume and improvement in market share is already visible in the recent sales data of FY2020.
  • Tata Motors has been focussing a lot on the safety aspects of the passenger vehicles that too in the country which ranks on top in terms of road accidents and deaths related to road accidents. The results are visible where Nexon and Altroz both ranked 5 stars in terms of NCAP ratings on safety standards. Tata Nexon went a step ahead by becoming India’s first ever 5 stars rated car on safety standards.
  • “Tata Motors’ luxury brand – Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has turned free cash flow positive in Q2FY21 on the back of a 53 per cent QoQ rise in retail volumes, said CLSA in a report. China and UK markets are driving the recovery now.”
  • “After struggling in China and dealing with uncertainty around Brexit, JLR initiated a 2.5 billion-pound cost-cutting drive that has already featured thousands of job losses worldwide. The plan, called Charge, has now been expanded to target savings of 5 billion pounds by March 2021, it said.”
  • Company has made investments into the Electric Vehicle technology through subsidiaries and group companies both on the domestic front thru Passenger car division [Nexon EV, Tigor EV] as well as in global markets through JLR [I-Pace].

Investors holding onto the stock as part of a long term portfolio can give more time to stock to perform and should also bear in mind, the automobile is a CAPEX heavy industry and faces tough challenges from competition and technology front.

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