Warning of impending layoffs should government aid for Jaguar-Land Rover not arrive soon, Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata restated the need for government-sourced funds. An urgent call went out in February from the company's CEO, and though aid of £2.3 billion ($3.25 billion) was approved by the EU earlier this month, it has yet to be distributed.

"If funds are not available the company will not be able to run," said Tata in a television interview. "So layoffs will take place." Many are afraid, however, that a game of economic chicken is being played, with thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of value to the UK economy at stake.

Already Jaguar-Land Rover has made significant cutbacks, laying off 1,350 temporary workers since last December, asking another 300 workers to leave voluntarily and planning another 150 temp job cuts by April. The UK has also already stepped up with a small loan of £27 million for the high-tech next-gen LRX crossover.

UK officials appear to be directing Jaguar-Land Rover's requests to Tata Motors, however. A UK government spokeswoman told Automotive News Europe, "The primary responsibility for short-term financing or longer-term restructuring rests with the parent company." Tata Motors has already pumped several hundred million into the brand duo, though estimates of the potential final tally of needed capital have brushed the $1 billion mark.