JLR retail sales slip 6% in 'challenging' 2019
Tata's Jaguar Land Rover reported retail sales of 52,814 vehicles for December 2019, 1.3% up year on year.
December retail sales were boosted by China (up 26.3%), a sixth successive month of double digit growth.
This offset lower sales in North America (-1.1%), UK (-2.9%), Europe (-5.3%) and in 'overseas markets' (-7.6%).
Sales of the redesigned Range Rover Evoque were up 33.2% and the updated Land Rover Discovery Sport is, the automaker said, "gaining traction" (up 19.6%). Discovery sales were also up while other models were lower.
For the quarter to December 2019, retail sales fell 2.3% to 141,222, reflecting similar market and model trends. Sales were up in China (24.3%) and North America (1.1%), but were offset by lower sales in the UK (-11.9%), Europe (-10.1%) and overseas markets (-11.5%).
Sales were up for the Evoque (30%) and the Discovery Sport (9.2%) as well as the Discovery (4.3%) and the Range Rover Sport (2.5%) while sales of other models were down.
For calendar year 2019, JLR retail sales were down 5.9% to 557,706 worldwide.
This reflected the currently more challenging industry conditions across markets with sales down in China (-13.5%), overseas regions (-14.2%), Europe (-4.9%) and the UK (-1.7%).
"However, the double-digit sales growth in China over the last six months has been encouraging, as has been the record sales achieved in North America (up 1.8%)," JLR said.
Sales of the Evoque, Jaguar E-Pace and electric I-Pace as well as the established Range Rover Sport were up for the year while sales of other vehicles were impacted by the generally weak market conditions and model changeover in the case of the Discovery Sport.
Felix Brautigam, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Commercial Officer, said: "2019 was a year of two halves for Jaguar Land Rover. Over the last six months we saw a marked improvement in China, where intensive work with our retailers, combined with significant process and product improvements are starting to gain traction. Elsewhere, adverse market conditions continued to affect the industry, but encouragingly in North America we closed 2019 successfully with a new record year.
"Following a record 2018, Jaguar sales were down in 2019. In increasingly challenging market conditions we chose not to weaken the iconic Jaguar brand through chasing volume at any cost. Nonetheless, key product highlights increased interest.
"As we enter 2020 our comprehensively updated best-selling Discovery Sport is now available in all regions and poised for growth. We also look forward to the start of retail sales for the New Defender."
In 2019, 6% of JLR's global sales were either fully electric or with plug in hybrid electric powertrains. In the UK, 4% of the company's sales were electric (BEV) and 4% plug-in hybrid, more than double the overall market take-up, with 23% of all Range Rovers and 20% of all Range Rover Sport vehicles being PHEVs.
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