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MUMBAI, India (AP) - India's Tata Motors Ltd. said quarterly profit fell by more than half as earnings dropped at its Jaguar Land Rover business and a weak economy sapped vehicle sales at home.

The automaker on Thursday reported that its October-December net profit fell to 16.2 billion rupees ($302 million) from 34 billion rupees a year earlier.

Jaguar Land Rover, which contributes the bulk of Tata's earnings, suffered a 25 percent fall in quarterly profit to 296 million pounds ($459 million) partly due to marketing and launch costs for a new line or Range Rover vehicles.

Tata said demand for JLR vehicles remained strong, particularly in China, and its Range Rover Evoque and Freelander were strong sellers. Quarterly JLR sales grew 9.9 percent to 94,828 vehicles.

The automaker's Indian business, which makes passenger cars and commercial vehicles such as buses, reported a quarterly loss of 4.5 billion rupees ($85 million) compared with a profit of 1.7 billion rupees the previous year.

It said sales of Tata brand vehicles including exports fell 11.3 percent from a year earlier, hurt by competition and slowing economic growth.

Demand for vehicles in India has also been hit by rising fuel costs, high interest rates and tax increases.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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