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Better news for Jaguar Land Rover as car registrations rise

By John Corser | Business | Published:

Demand for new cars fell by three per cent in the UK last month amid dwindling public confidence in the economy – but Jaguar Land Rover bucked the trend.

The new Jaguar E-Pace 'pocket rocket' has helped improve sales figures in the UK

Some 158,600 new cars were registered in November compared with 163,500 during the same month in 2017, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.

Registrations are down 6.9 per cent so far this year against the first 11 months of 2017.

It was better news for the luxury car maker, which last week announced it was sending hundreds of its engine manufacture centre workers at Wolverhampton home for two weeks in the run-up to Christmas.

Land Rover sales were up 1.57 per cent in November from 6,241 to 6,359 while Jaguar models were up 2.34 per cent from 2,654 to 2,716.

JLR said 500 staff would be sent home each week on full pay as production is slowed down ‘temporarily’.

It also announced that 200 more jobs are going at the Solihull factory.

The company said this week that it will not be attending the 2019 Geneva motor show in Switzerland in an official capacity, as part of cost-cutting measures.

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JLR said it was “looking at the effectiveness of each motor show individually” and had decided that there was no tangible benefit to attending next year’s Geneva show. It will be hosting its own launch and reveal events.

Aston Martin, which makes its luxury models on Warwickshire, also saw a rise of 14.6 per cent to 86.

Volkswagen topped the sales chart with 15,772 – up 12.7 per cent – with Ford in second place with 14,666, despite a fall of 18.9 per cent.

SMMT Chief executive Mike Hawes said: "Model and regulatory changes combined with falling consumer confidence conspired to affect supply and demand in November.

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"The good news is that as supply constraints ease, and new exciting models come on sale in the months ahead, buyers can look forward to a wide choice of cutting-edge petrol, diesel and electrified cars."

Sales of petrol models increased by 3.5 per cent last month, while diesels fell 16.7 per cent.

Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles such as hybrids and pure electrics increased by 24.6 per cent to take a market share of 6.8 per cent.

Fleet and private registrations fell by 0.7 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively last month, while business sales rose 8.6 per cent.

Mr Hawes added: "It's now critical that a Brexit deal is secured to boost consumer confidence and provide a stimulus to the new car market as we enter the new year."

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star business reporter at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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