JLR annual car sales fall 13.6pc over impact of pandemic

Jaguar Land Rover saw annual car sales fall 13.6 per cent on the previous year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Land Rover Defender has made a major contribution to JLR sales
The new Land Rover Defender has made a major contribution to JLR sales

The luxury car group, which has its engine manufacturing centre at the i54 to the north of Wolverhampton, achieved sales of 439,588

In the final quarter of the year to the end of March, sales were 123,483 vehicles – 12.4 per cent higher than the same quarter last year.

Chief commercial officer Felix Brautigam said: "While the Covid-19 pandemic has an ongoing impact on the global auto industry, I am pleased to end the financial year with sales up year-on-year in the last quarter.

"Encouragingly, the steady recovery throughout the year follows the direction of our Reimagine strategy: the quality of our sales improved even more than the volume, with a focus on our most profitable car lines, higher specifications and lower incentives. Despite very different Covid restrictions worldwide we also achieved our objective of balanced sales across our key markets."

For the full 2020-2021 financial year, growth in China was strong, with sales reaching 111,206 vehicles, up 23.4 per cent year-on-year. Sales in other regions have not yet recovered to pre-Covid levels with North America down 14.3 per cent and the UK, Europe, and overseas markets each down more than 20 per cent.

By model, the new Land Rover Defender contributed 45,244 sales in the year, while other models were down year-on-year, reflecting the impact of Covid, particularly earlier in the year.

Mr Brautigam said Land Rover was delighted with the continued growth in demand for the new Defender in the quarter and was proud to see it named supreme winner of the Women’s World Car of the Year 2021.

"This is the first time a Land Rover has won at these awards, bringing the total global trophy count for the new Defender to over 50 so far. The completely refreshed Discovery and updated Velar, which is now also available as plug-in hybrid, will strengthen Land Rover sales further," he added,

Jaguar was encouraged by the sustained sales performance of XE, XF and F-TYPE, as customers responded positively to new designs and comprehensive upgrades.

In the final quarter China sales were up 127 per c compared to a year ago when that market was heavily impacted by Covid-19. Sales in North America were also up year-on-year by 10.4 per cent.

The Defender contributed significantly to the overall year-over-year growth, with 16,963 units sold in the quarter.

Jaguar Land Rover is continuing to roll out electrification technology across its model range. Twelve of the company’s 13 nameplates are now available with an electrified option, with plug-in hybrids available in eight models and mild hybrids in 11 models.

The mix of electrified vehicles sold in the fourth quarter grew to 62 per cent.

JLR will report audited results for the financial year in the second half of May. The company’s sales performance has been in line with expectations.

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