Land Rover’s May sales figures have revealed a further slide as the Coventry car maker continues to navigate a course through choppy waters.
The company has announced it sold 42,370 vehicles in May, down by 12.2% compared to May 2018.
The latest figures follow a difficult 2018/2019 financial year when the car maker posted a £358million loss – or £3.6 billion if a writedown on the value of assets was taken into account.
However, the company reported an encouraging period towards the end of the financial year as it returned to profitability for the final quarter.
Brexit uncertainty and declining demand for diesel vehicles means life continues to be tough for Jaguar Land Rover but its biggest challenge continues to be the sales slide in China, which at one point had become its biggest market.
The company is in the midst of a new product offensive and has been buoyed by demand for both the all-new Ranger Rover Evoque and its first all-electric car the Jaguar I-Pace.
The company said this was offset by lower sales of other models, chiefly in China.
Sales of the Discovery Sport were also down but this was attributed to the launch of a heavily refreshed version of Land Rover’s best-selling model, which was unveiled in May and has now gone on sale.
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In April sales fell by 26.4% in China and there was also another big drop in other overseas market where were down by 18.4% compared to April 2018.
The most marginal decline was in North America (-1.5%), while UK sales were down by 6.7% and European sales by 9.6%.
Referring to the situation in China in a statement, Jaguar Land Rover said “market conditions remain challenging”.
May saw 13,142 Jaguar cars sold, down 9.4% year-on-year, and 29,228 Land Rovers, down 13.5%.
Jaguar Land Rover’s chief commercial officer Felix Brautigam said: “May saw two important milestones for Land Rover with the debut of significant model updates.
“The brand’s best-selling Discovery Sport premium compact SUV has been transformed from the ground up, making it almost a new car.
“Featuring the all-new premium transverse architecture, it will be available with MHEV (mild hybrid electric) and PHEV (plug in hybrid electric) powertrains, which are important additions to our growing portfolio of electrified vehicles.”
Mr Brautigam added: “The enhanced interior of the new Discovery Sport is highly versatile, available with seven seats and featuring the latest connectivity.
“The latest Range Rover, which was also revealed in May, comes with a range of upgrades.
“These include our new 3.0-litre straight six Ingenium petrol engine with a mild hybrid electric system, as well as the innovative combination of supercharging and turbocharging technologies.
“Although sales dipped at Jaguar this month, we were pleased to see the continued strong response to the award-winning I-Pace.
“We also launched the Jaguar E-Pace Chequered Flag edition, which generated a high level of interest with customers and commentators alike.”
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