Jaguar Land Rover retail sales for the three-month period to 30 June 2020 were significantly impacted by Covid-19 in line with the unprecedented market conditions, but improved month-on-month through the quarter.
June retail sales were 35,334 vehicles, down 24.9% year-on-year, but representing an improving monthly trend within the overall quarter, with total sales of 74,067 which was down 42.4% year-on-year. Strict lockdowns and social distancing measures for Covid-19 resulted in temporary shutdowns of most retailers and the company's manufacturing plants in April and much of May.
Over 95% of Jaguar Land Rover's retailers worldwide are now open or partially open and all of the company's plants have resumed manufacturing, with the exception of the Castle Bromwich facility, which will gradually restart in August. All plants are operating on single shifts with social distancing measures in place and production ramping up as demand grows.
The sales recoveries in June for China and North America were particularly encouraging. China sales were only 7.4% lower year-on-year and North America sales were up 2.2%. UK sales were down 31.8% in the first month of retailers reopening (England from 1 June and Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales later in the month). The overseas region was down 33.1% and Europe was down 52.5%.
For the quarter, retail sales in China were only down 2.5% year-on-year as lockdown measures were lifted earlier than in other regions and the solid recovery continues. Retails in North America were down 32.1%, the UK was down 69.5%, Overseas down 46.9%, and Europe down 59.1%.
Inevitably retail sales of all models were lower year-on-year, but against this background the best-selling vehicles were the Range Rover Sport, the new Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Customer response to the new Land Rover Defender has been overwhelmingly positive and, as retailers have come back on line, there has been a surge of interest in the toughest and most capable Land Rover ever. Deliveries of the award-winning 4X4 started to ramp up in the quarter with 1,970 retails in June after only starting in the UK and Europe in May and the US in June, with China scheduled to begin in July.
Felix Brautigam, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Commercial Officer, said: "While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the global auto industry, we are pleased to see initial green shoots of recovery. We are working alongside our retailers, planning for gradual recovery as lockdowns relax and economies respond. Through the quarter we continued to introduce new and updated Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, to very positive response.
"For Jaguar, we were delighted to announce significant technology updates for the all-electric I-PACE. The performance SUV now offers a new fast, intuitive infotainment system and quicker charging capability, making owning and driving an electric vehicle easier than ever. The Pivi Pro infotainment system is as intuitive to use as a smartphone and has enhanced EV navigation that can show you, dependent on market, if nearby charging stations are available and how long it will take to charge. With an 11kW on-board charger now standard, customers with access to three-phase electricity supply can fully-charge their I-PACE from empty in only 8.6 hours - ideal for overnight charging at home. When charging 'on the go', a 100kW charger will add up to 78 miles (127km) in just 15 minutes.
"At Land Rover, we celebrated Range Rover's 50th anniversary in June and unveiled a special edition Range Rover Fifty model, restricted to just 1,970 vehicles in recognition of the model's launch year. Half a century after it made its global debut, the original luxury SUV remains the benchmark for design, refinement and engineering innovation. Its sporting sibling, the Range Rover Sport, was the best-selling Land Rover in the quarter, testament to how Range Rover vehicles today are more desired than ever. We are delighted that the new Land Rover Defender, an icon reimagined for the digital age, has been named Car Design News "Production Car of the Year". Its ramp-up and a further extension of our plugin hybrid offer will all support the recovery in our sales. The new Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport are now available with state-of-the-art PHEV technology, combining our new 1.5-litre 3-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a powerful electric motor delivering a total of 309PS and an impressive all-electric range of up to 41 miles (66km)."
Jaguar Land Rover will be releasing its financial results for the quarter ended 30 June 2020 later in the month, but ended the quarter with a stronger than expected cash position of about £2.7 billion (unaudited) and overall liquidity of about £4.6 billion including the company's £1.9 billion revolving credit facility, which remains undrawn.
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