Jaguar Land Rover sales down 22% in July as US-China tariff war bites

Jaguar Land Rover today reported total retail sales of 36,144 vehicles in July 2018, down 21.6% year on year, primarily, it said, reflecting “transitional issues” in certain markets.

Retails for July were down in China (46.9%), reflecting continued market volatility in the first month of the duty change as well as trade tensions.

Sales were also down in Europe (26.5%) and the UK (18.3%), impacted by the industry-wide issue of delays in WLTP certification of 2019 model year vehicles.

The Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) defines a global harmonized standard for determining the levels of pollutants and CO2 emissions, fuel or energy consumption, and electric range from passenger cars and light commercial vehicls.

Jaguar Land Rover said it has made good progress however and all its vehicles are certified or expected to be shortly.

Retail sales were also down in North America (9.5%), resulting, it said, from softer industry volumes (down more than 3%) combined with foregoing some higher discounted business and later timing for new model year launches this year compared to a year ago. Sales in Overseas markets were up 8.6%.

Felix Brautigam, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Commercial Officer, said there were “challenges to navigate” in the company’s key markets in July.

“Despite that we have lots of reasons to be positive. After some short delays because of the transfer to WLTP emissions regulations we are now well-placed in the premium market. We anticipate the impact of this transfer will be short-lived.

“We are also adapting to the impact of tariff changes in the Chinese market. While this could strengthen demand, the trade conflict with the USA has a negative effect on automotive buyers’ confidence and transaction prices in China. Also the US car market has recently shown signs of softening,” he added.

The company is relying on its new line-up that includes the Range Rover Velar, the Jaguar E-PACE, the refreshed Ranger Rover and Range Rover Sport with a plug-in hybrid electric option and the Jaguar XEL longwheelbase in China. The company’s eectric Jaguar I-PACE has a strong order book in excess of six months, it added.

“We remain positive and confident in our award-winning product line-up. The new E-PACE, our sporty compact SUV, is boosting sales for Jaguar. It’s about to go on sale in China and we’re expecting success there too. The electric Jaguar I-PACE, which has impressed the world’s media, is now starting deliveries.

“Demand for Land Rover is also encouraging. Despite market challenges, the Range Rover Velar and newly revised Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models, including the new plug-in hybrid versions, are winning new customers around the world.”

For July Jaguar retail sales were 10,992 and Land Rover retail sales were 25,152 vehicles, down 15.2% and 24.0% respectively on the same month last year. Jaguar Land Rover total retail sales for the first seven months of 2018 calendar year were 354,363, down 2.4% compared to the same period a year ago