JLR sales down 42.4pc for latest quarter over hit from pandemic

Jaguar Land Rover's sales fell by 42.4 per cent on the year in the three months to June as it continued to suffer from the coronavirus pandemic.

It is hoped the new Land Rover Defender will help sales recover
It is hoped the new Land Rover Defender will help sales recover

The luxury car maker, which has its engine manufacturing centre at the i54, on the edge of Wolverhampton, made a loss before tax of £413 million on revenue of £2.9 billion.

Temporary retailer and plant shutdowns significantly impacted sales and profits.

It sold 74,067 cars as sales improved month-by-month through the quarter as economies reopened, with June down 24.9 per cent on last year.

UK sales for JLR were down 69.5 per cent for the three months, but the recovery in China and North America was encouraging, with sales in China down just 2.5 per cent and North America up 2.2 per cent year-on-year for last month.

About 98 per cent of JLR’s retailers worldwide are now fully or partially open and all the company’s plants have resumed production, with the exception of the Castle Bromwich factory which will gradually restart from August 10.

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The pre-tax loss was down only £18m year-on-year and despite the significant impact of Covid-19, the company successfully completed £647m of new funding and ended the quarter with solid liquidity of £4.7bn, including £2.75bn of cash and short-term investments and a £1.9bn undrawn revolving credit facility.

Chief executive Sir Ralf Speth said: "Jaguar Land Rover has reacted with resilience and agility to the extraordinary challenges faced in the first three months of the new fiscal year, adapting rapidly to the widespread macro-economic disruption and uncertainty facing our industry.

"Through this unprecedented time, we have continued to bring outstanding new vehicles to market, electrifying our multi-award-winning range and building demand for the new Land Rover Defender, an icon re-imagined for the digital age.

"As the lockdowns ease, we will emerge from the pandemic with our most advanced product line-up yet, and with the financial and operating measures in place to return to long-term sustainable profit."

Sales of the New Land Rover Defender have started to ramp up in the quarter in the UK, Europe, North America, and some overseas markets, with sales beginning in China and other markets from July onwards.

Sir Ralf, who will take up the position of non-executive vice chairman of JLR, added; "The fundemental strengths of Jaguar Land Rover have been tested in 2020 and we will pass this test to succeed in the future. Our exciting pipeline of new, advanced products places us at the forefront of our industry. We have a clear plan, a highly-skilled, creative team and unparalleled technical capabilities.

"I look forward to working with my successor Thierry Bollorr as Jaguar Land Rover focuses on its Destination Zero mission, and seeks to deliver the autonomous, connected, electric and shared experiences that our customers will love, for life with integrity."

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