In what is an indication of return of global demand, Jaguar Land Rover has reported retail sales of 123,483 vehicles in Q4 FY2021 12.4% higher than the same quarter last year.
China sales were up 127% compared to a year ago when that market was heavily impacted by Covid-19. Sales in North America were also up year-on-year (+10.4%), while other regions remain lower than pre-Covid levels, including Overseas markets (-10.0%), the UK (-6.8%) and Europe (-4.9%).
The award-winning new Land Rover Defender contributed significantly to the overall year-over-year growth, with 16,963 units sold in the quarter. Other Land Rover models with increased sales in the quarter include the Land Rover Discovery Sport (+28.6%), Range Rover Sport (+20.7%) and Range Rover (+15.8%). Jaguar models up in the quarter include XF (+28.4%), XE (+5.6%) and F-Type (+55.8%).
For the full FY2021 fiscal year, Jaguar Land Rover global retail sales totalled 439,588 vehicles, down 13.6% on the previous year as a result of the impact of the pandemic. Growth in China was strong, with retails reaching 111,206 vehicles, up 23.4% year-on-year. Sales in other regions have not yet recovered to pre-Covid levels with North America down 14.3% and the UK, Europe, and Overseas markets each down more than 20%. By model, the new Land Rover Defender contributed 45,244 sales in the year, while other models were down year-on-year, reflecting the impact of Covid, particularly earlier in the year.
Electrification strategy at work
Meanwhile, the Tata Motors-owned JLR continued to roll out electrification technology across its model range. Twelve of the company’s 13 nameplates are now available with an electrified option, with plug-in hybrids (PHEV) available in 8 models and mild hybrids (MHEV) in 11 models. As a result, the mix of electrified vehicles retailed in the fourth quarter grew to 62%, with 2% for the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE, 7% PHEV and 53% MHEV. For the full year, the retail mix of electrified vehicles was 51%, including 4% for the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE, 5% PHEV and 43% MHEV.
Felix Brautigam, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Commercial Officer, said: “While the Covid-19 pandemic has an ongoing impact on the global auto industry, I am pleased to end the financial year with sales up year-on-year in the last quarter. Encouragingly, the steady recovery throughout the year follows the direction of our Reimagine strategy: the quality of our sales improved even more than the volume, with a focus on our most profitable car lines, higher specifications and lower incentives. Despite very different Covid restrictions worldwide we also achieved our objective of balanced sales across our key markets.
Jaguar Land Rover will report audited results for the financial year ended 31 March 2021 in the second half of May. The company’s sales performance has been in line with expectations and Jaguar Land Rover anticipates reporting significant positive free cash flow in Q4 and break-even to positive cash flow for the full year. At 31 March 2021, the company had around £4.8 billion of cash and short-term investments (unaudited) and around £6.7 billion of available liquidity, including the £1.9 billion undrawn committed credit facility (RCF) maturing in July 2022. Furthermore, the company has now extended £1.31 billion of the RCF to March 2024.