China sales slump a big blow for Jaguar Land Rover
A big fall in sales in China last month has hit Jaguar Land Rover hard.
The luxury car maker saw worldwide sales slip by eight per cent on the year in November to 48,160.
The escalating trade war between China and the United States has contributed to challenging market conditions in China.
Sales in China were 50.7 per cent lower than a year ago at 6,804 with continuing consumer uncertainty following tariff changes and the trade concerns.
JLR said it was continuing to work closely with retailers in China to respond to the present market conditions.
Growth in other major markets helped make up on the slump in China. Sales were up significantly in North America by 18.1 per cent to 12,907 due to strong sales of Range Rover models in JLR’s best ever November sales performance in the market.
Sales were also 5.6 per cent higher in Europe and up 3.2 per cent to 9,170 in the UK where JLR last week announced it was sending hundreds of its engine manufacture centre workers at Wolverhampton home for two weeks in the run-up to Christmas.
Jaguar retail sales were 14,909 vehicles in November, up 8.9 per cent year-on-year, driven by the introduction of the E-PACE and I-PACE, partially offset by lower sales of Jaguar sedans and the F-PACE.
Land Rover retailed 33,251 vehicles in the monthr, down 14 per cent year-on-year as strong sales of the refreshed Range Rover and Range Rover Sport were more than offset by lower sales of Discovery Sport, Discovery and Evoque, primarily in China.
The latest Land Rover model, the all new Range Rover Evoque, was announced last month and will go on sale in 2019 with hybrid powertrain options.
Felix Brautigam, JLR chief commercial officer, said: “We are encouraged to see our best ever November sales performance in North America, propelled by strong SUV sales.
"This performance was combined with growth in Europe and the UK where we have outperformed the market; a significant accomplishment in today’s challenging conditions.
"These positive regional results reflect our strong brands and attractive product line up.
“In China, we continue to see significant market challenges but we remain focused on taking all the operational actions necessary to balance production with demand.
“Sales of Land Rover models were down this month but will receive a boost with the launch of the sophisticated all-new Range Rover Evoque in early 2019, a true and refined Range Rover with an amazingly compact footprint."
Mr Brautigan added: “Jaguar sales were up in all key markets except China, with the sporty compact SUV EPACE and newly introduced all-electric I-PACE driving demand.”
The F-PACe was the top-selling Jaguar model in the month at 4,121 with the Discovery Sport at 7,378 leading the way for Land Rover.
Overall JLR sales for the year are down 4.7 per cent to 367,839 from 385,903 at the same time in 2017.