Chip shortages continue to put the brakes on JLR sales

Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) retail sales for the three-month period to December 31, 2021, fell by 13.6% due to the continuing computer chip shortage.

However, the group, which has manufacturing plants at Halewood in Merseyside and Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands, said it has started to see some improvement in supplies and wholesale volumes compared with the previous quarter.

Retail sales for the quarter were 80,126 vehicles, down 13.6% (12.6k units) from the preceding quarter ending September 30, 2021, and 37.6% (48.3k units) from the quarter a year ago, ending December 31, 2020.

Retail sales were lower across all regions compared with the preceding quarter, including China (-6.9%), Europe (-6.8%), North America (-11.8%), UK (-24.3%), and Overseas (-25.4%).

However, wholesale volumes were 69,182 units and production volumes were 72,184 units in the period – both excluding the China joint venture – up eight per cent and 41%, respectively, compared with the preceding quarter ending September 30, 2021.

The increase in production in particular reflects a start in improved chip supply.

Compared with the preceding quarter, Range Rover wholesale volumes were up by 91.8%, Range Rover Sport by 64% and I-Pace by 34.5%.

Retail sales for the calendar year 2021 were 420,856, down 1.2% compared with the calendar year 2020 with Land Rover sales up 3.4%.

Wholesales are the finished cars JLR sells as a business, while retails are vehicles customers buy from retailers.

JLR said underlying demand for its products remains strong and it has managed semiconductor supplies to maximise production of its higher margin vehicles.

It said global retail orders are at record levels. The total order book has grown to more than 154,000 units, up about 30,000 orders from the prior quarter for the New Range Rover, while demand for the Land Rover Defender remains strong with about 36,000 orders.

Lennard Hoornik, JLR chief commercial officer, said: “The New Range Rover is the embodiment of Jaguar Land Rover’s vision for modern luxury by design.

“Positive feedback at launch has led to a strong order intake for this first all new modern luxury model. Furthermore, the Land Rover Defender continues to contribute to a record order bank next to our all electric Jaguar I-PACE.”

He added: “Semi-conductor supply challenges continue within the industry, but our wholesale volumes are improving. We look forward to completing delivery to global customers as supply improves in 2022.”

At the end of January, JLR expects to report unaudited results for the three months ending December 31, 2021. Initial estimated cashflow for the quarter is around £150m positive.

Looking ahead, the chip shortage remains difficult to forecast, said the luxury car maker, however, it expects supply to continue to improve in quarter four of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.