Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has restored the two-shift working patterns at its Halewood factory in Merseyside as sales rise in the UK and overseas. Tony McDonough reports
Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) say is reporting rising sales both in the UK and overseas.
As a consequence JLR has restored the two-shift working patterns at its three factories – at Halewood in Merseyside and Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands – for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
JLR, which employs around 4,000 people at Halewood assembling the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport models, said it sold 113,569 vehicles in three months ending September 30.
This was a big rise from from sales of 74,067 in the previous quarter but still down 11.9% from pre-COVUD levels a year ago. China sales were up up 14.6% on the prior quarter and 3.7% year-on-year. September also saw sales up 28.5% year-on-year in China.
Retail sales for other regions also significantly improved from the prior quarter, including the UK (+231.6%), Europe (+78.8%), North America (+21.3%) and overseas (+35.1%). However, sales in these regions have not yet recovered to pre-COVID levels a year ago: UK (-2.9%), North America (-15.8%), Europe (-19.8%) and Overseas markets (-30.3%).
Jaguar Land Rover will be releasing its financial results for the quarter to September 30 later this month. The company ended September with around £3bn of cash and short-term deposits, up £300m. Total liquidity was around £5bn, including the company’s £1.9bn revolving credit facility, which remains undrawn.
During the quarter JLR continued its roll-out of electrification to meet recovering demand. This included the launch of plug-in hybrid versions of the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Defender.
Felix Brautigam, JLR’s chief commercial officer, said: “COVID-19 and second lockdowns continue to impact the global auto industry but we are pleased to see sales recovering across our markets.
“In China, the first region to come out of lockdown, our performance has been particularly encouraging. But we are also seeing strong improvement versus the preceding quarter in other key markets, with sales up more than 50% worldwide.
“The recovery has been demand-led and we are delighted that we have been able to reduce stocks to achieve ideal levels in most markets, despite the ongoing pandemic, to support a healthier and more profitable business for Jaguar Land Rover and its retailers.”