Jaguar Land Rover reports 21% rise in car sales

Retail sales at carmaker Jaguar Land Rover rise 21% in the first three months of 2023 as computer chip supply shortages ease. Tony McDonough reports

Jaguar Land Rover employs more than 3,500 people at Halewood


Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is reporting big rises in both retail sales and wholesale volumes in the first three months of 2023.

In January, February and March, the final quarter of JLR’s fiscal year, retail sales were up 21% to 102,889 vehicles. Wholesale volumes rose 19% to 94,649 vehicles. Both figures exclude the Chery Jaguar Land Rover China joint venture.

It means for the full year to March 31 wholesale volumes are up 9% to 321,362. However, retail sales are down 6% to 354,662 for the 12-month period.

However, sales in the second half of JLR’s financial year have improved significantly with the gradual easing of the global shortage of semiconductor chips, essential to modern vehicles. 

In 2021 JLR was forced to temporarily suspend production at its factory in Halewood in Merseyside due to the shortage.

More than 3,500 people are employed at the plant assembling the Range Rover, Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport models. In the past couple of weeks it was revealed the company was seeking up to 100 voluntary redundancies at the site.

In January LBN reported the automotive giant, which also operates two factories in the West Midlands, said it had returned to profit in the three months to December 31. Pre-tax profits came in at £265m from £6bn in revenues.

In the latest quarter JLR said retail sales were up 30% year-on-year. Volumes were higher in all markets led by Europe (+47%), UK (+42%), China (+29%), overseas (+29%) and North America (+12%).

Wholesale volumes were up 24% compared to the same quarter a year ago. They were higher in all markets led by overseas (62%), UK (24%), Europe (22%), China (17%) and North America (2%).

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In its latest trading update the company said: “The order book remained strong with about 200,000 client orders at quarter end, about 15,000 lower than December 31, 2022, reflecting the higher retails this quarter.

“Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Defender demand remains particularly strong, representing 76% of the order book.”

JLR expects to report results for the fourth quarter and full year ended March 31 in May. Free cash flow is estimated to be over £800m positive in the fourth quarter and over £500m positive for the full year.

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