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Jaguar Land Rover sees tumbling demand in China drag down its global sales figures

By Simon Penfold | Business | Published:

Latest global sales figures have brought fresh woe for Jaguar Land Rover, as a recovery in the UK and US failed to compensate for tumbling demand in China.

Work has restarted at Solihull after a fortnight shutdown as JLR slows production in the wake of falling sales

As a result, overall sales for the UK's biggest car maker were down 4.6 per cent last month, selling 44,282 vehicles.

The company, which makes its engines at the i54 site in Wolverhampton where around 1,800 people work, suspended car making at its 300-acre Solihull plant for a fortnight in October while its Castle Bromwich Jaguar plant is on a three-day week until Christmas as JLR tries to cut production to match demand.

JLR says it has seen strong sales of newer models such as its Jaguar I-Pace and E-Pace, and its revamped Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, but that isn't keeping pace with the slowdown in demand for its older models.

In the UK Jaguar Land Rover had an unexpectedly good October, with sales up almost 47 per cent on the same months last year, while in North America they were up 24 per cent, thanks to the newer models.

But sales in China slumped by 49 per cent, said the company. "Market conditions remain challenging amid tariff changes and continued trade tensions with the US, which are impacting consumer confidence and automotive purchases."

Sales were down 13.5 per cent in Europe due to continuing uncertainty over diesels, and off by four per cent in JLR's overseas markets – a catch-all for Russia, the Middle East, South America and India.

Felix Brautigam, JLR's chief commercial officer, said: “We continue to face challenges in some markets, notably China. Despite this, we saw a strong performance in the UK and North America, which is a testament to our customers’ loyalty to our brands and the positive response of new customers to our evolving product line-up.

"As announced last week, we are implementing a turnaround plan and taking all the necessary steps to rejuvenate our business especially in China. This involves working closely with our sales network and balancing production with demand in the present market conditions to achieve healthy development for our future that is not unduly dependent on incentives.

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“Looking ahead to the end of the year, Jaguar’s growth trajectory remains positive, as the all-electric I-Pace and sporty E-Pace compact SUV are growing in popularity and driving demand.

“Meanwhile at Land Rover, while slowing sales in China are disappointing, we remain encouraged by positive demand for exciting new products such as the Velar and the refreshed Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.”

Jaguar Land Rover total retail sales for the year so far are down four per cent, at 492,388.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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