Jaguar Land Rover Reports Record Breaking Sales, And Profits Too

The Jaguar F-Type.

The iconic British car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover PLC, has motored to its best ever annual sales performance with 425 000 vehicles sold last year, an increase of almost 20% on the previous figure for 2012. The UK-based but Indian-owned manufacturer said that sales had been boosted by strong demand for the Jaguar F-type in the USA and for the Range Rover Sports in India and China.

A company spokesperson said sales increased by 14% to 78 000 vehicles in the UK and the company had achieved a 21% increase in the USA but this had been bested by almost 33% increase in China where sales of 95 000 vehicles was reported. Jaguar, a marque that is often described as quintessentially British, was also the fastest growing premium car brand in Germany last year.

Sales of the Jaguar F-Type, XF Saloon and the Range Rover Sports and Evoque have seen the marque become resurgent and even the newly launched F-Type managed to notch up sales of 6000 vehicles at a price of GBP57 000. The acceleration in fortunes for the business under its new Indian owners who bought the company for GBP1.15 billion just five years ago is less than the profit the company made in the past twelve months. In November, JLR announced half year pre-tax profits of GBP1.08 billion on revenues of GBP8.71 billion and in the financial year prior to that, the company had made GBP1.68 billion on revenues of GBP15.8 billion.

At the height of the 2008 recession, JLR’s new Indian owners went cap-in-hand to the British government for a bail-out. The latest figures highlight the transformation of the business under its new owners, who were widely decried for overpaying when Tata bought the business from Ford in 2008 for GBP1.15 billion. Ralf Speth, JLR’s Chief Executive, said, “Our unrelenting focus on design, technology, innovation and quality has seen Jaguar Land Rover reach global consumers in more markets.”
The surge in JLR’s fortunes is benefiting the local community in the British Midlands where the company is already opening a GBP500 million engine factory in Wolverhampton (see JLR Gets Serious About Research) that should see the creation of at least 1400 jobs and there will be further expansion at the Solihull Factory in Birmingham. The company has created 11 000 new posts in the past three years. There is also talk of a further GBP1.5 billon investment to support the development and production of a new lightweight aluminium technology.

The story for Tata back in its Indian base is not such a happy one with the company losing money in its standalone car business. Mahantesh Sabarad, an analyst at Fortune Financial Services India in Mumbai, said, “With the parent making losses, Jaguar Land Rover is driving more than 100% of the profit. We are positive on JLR but we expect the growth rate to moderate to about 12% to 14% in the next two years.”

“Jaguar Land Rover is a remarkable manufacturing success story,” the Unite union’s Assistant General Secretary, Tony Burke, said, “The company faced serious problems prior to 2008 but our members in Unite and the company worked together to turn JLR’s fortunes around. The manufacturer’s fantastic performance is testament to the workforce.”

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has announced that car sales in the UK was at its highest since 2007, largely thanks to the recovering economy, cheap finance packages and repayments of mis-sold payment protection insurance. Among the companies that are benefiting from the global bounce-back is Volkswagen who announced that their luxury brands – Porsche, Audi and Bentley – had achieved record sales in 2013 aided by demand for high-end cars, particularly in China.

image: The Daily Mail

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