Jaguar Land Rover global sales fall 5.9% in 2019, but show signs of recovery

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LONDON — Jaguar Land Rover posted a 5.9 percent fall in 2019 vehicle sales after a challenging year in which its performance was hit by the weakening Chinese market and falling European demand for diesels.

Retail sales were 557,706 in 2019, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Land Rover sales fell 3.8 percent to 396,105 for the year, while Jaguar sales dropped 11 percent to 161,601.

JLR’s sales last year were hit by a 14 percent slump in China, but in the last six months the company reported double-digit growth in the country.

“2019 was a year of two halves,” said Chief Commercial Officer Felix Brautigam. “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,” he said.

JLR’s global sales increased 1.3 percent to 52,814 in December. Land Rover’s volume rose 9.6 percent to 39,442, but Jaguar sales dropped 17 percent to 13,372.

At the start of 2019, JLR announced plans to cut around 10 percent of its workforce and it has been pursuing measures to reduce costs and improve cash flows by 2.5 billion pounds ($3.3 billion).

The company, owned by India’s Tata Motors, returned to the black in the three months to the end of September 2019, posting a 156 million-pound ($204 million) profit.

JLR, like much of the car industry, has also faced the challenge of stepping up investment in zero- and low-emissions vehicles as regulations tighten while simultaneously dealing with a drop in demand for some conventionally-powered models.

It has paired up with BMW to jointly develop electric motors, transmissions and power electronics which should allow it to share some of the high costs of advancing the green technology.

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