Annual sales down 5.8% for Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover

Sales at Jaguar Land Rover were down 5.8% in its latest financial year as the company continued to battle a drop in demand in China.

The car manufacturer sold 578,915 vehicles in 128 countries in 2018-2019, down from 614,309 in 2017-2018.

The news came as JLR started a shut down of its production sites for a week because of uncertainties around Brexit, a move which is in addition to a scheduled closure the following week for Easter.

During the year, the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE was introduced and sales of the Jaguar E-PACE, Range Rover Velar and the refreshed Range Rover and Range Rover Sport ramped up, however this was offset by continuing weakness in China and the run out of the first generation Range Rover Evoque.

Retail sales were up significantly in North America (up 8.1%), which marked its best ever full fiscal year and ninth consecutive year of growth.

Volumes were also up in the UK (up 8.4%) and in overseas markets (up 2.4%). However, overall performance was impacted by falling sales in China (down 34.1%) reflecting weaker market conditions.

Sales in Europe were lower (down 4.5%) because of diesel uncertainty as well as the regulatory changes due to Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

Jaguar retail sales in the period were 180,198 vehicles, up 3.2% year-on-year.

Land Rover retailed 398,717 vehicles, down 9.3% year-on-year reflecting the weaker China performance and run out of the first generation Evoque, although strong sales of the Range Rover Velar as well as the refreshed Range Rover and Range Rover Sport were “encouraging”, JLR said.

Felix Brautigam, JLR chief commercial officer, said: “Despite a challenging time for us and the automotive industry, we were able to deliver growth in three of our five regions. In North America, the UK and overseas we posted solid growth on the back of strong demand for our exciting product line-up, achieving record sales and outpacing industry trends in many markets.

“Although the trading environment in Europe was weak due to uncertainty over diesel and the transition to WLTP regulations, our European teams also held their competitive position. Clearly we were disappointed by the lower sales in China. However, together with our retailers we decided not to push sales ‘at any cost’ to ensure that our brands remain desirable. Mid-term we remain optimistic about the region, particularly as we are starting to see results of our local turnaround strategy, with retails expected to stabilise in the next few months and grow thereafter.

“Jaguar is going from strength to strength, achieving its best ever full year of sales. Records for the brand in Europe and Overseas were driven by strong retails of the award winning all-electric I-PACE and the sporty, compact E-PACE, which has been well-received across all regions.

“Although we saw a dip at Land Rover due to China market performance and the phase out of older models, we are pleased with the sales of the newer vehicles and excited by the reception for the all-new Range Rover Evoque, with sales ramping up. Customer and media reviews of the latest generation of this compact yet sophisticated and refined Range Rover are extremely positive and we look forward to its China launch at the Shanghai auto show.”

Jaguar Land Rover total retail sales for the fourth quarter were 158,916 vehicles, down 8% compared to the same period last year, and sales in March 2019 were 76,895 vehicles, down 8.2% compared to March 2018.