Jaguar Land Rover puts brakes on as car sales slump 30% since start of the year as lockdown bites
- JLR suffered slumps in both Europe and China, sources said
- It is also understood to have suffered a fall in demand for diesel cars
- JLR had been due to reopen its UK assembly plants later this month, but the shutdown is likely to be extended
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Jaguar Land Rover is this week expected to reveal sales have plummeted 30 per cent since the beginning of the year.
City insiders said the miserable data for the three months to March 31 reflected the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on Britain’s biggest car maker.
Sources said the maker of Range Rovers and the Land Rover Discovery suffered slumps in both Europe and China, where its cars are also popular.
JLR had been due to reopen its UK assembly plants later this month, but the shutdown is likely to be extended
JLR, which is owned by Indian steel and automotive company Tata, is also understood to have suffered a fall in demand for diesel cars because of the tightening of regulations around emissions.
JLR had been due to reopen its assembly plants – at Halewood, Merseyside, and at Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands – later this month after shutting them in March.
But the company is now likely to have to extend its shutdown.
It is understood to be slashing spending on all but its most profitable models, such as Range Rovers and the revamped Land Rover Defender.
Spending on other car programmes, such as a new electric Jaguar XJ saloon, is likely to take a back seat.
Two weeks ago Jaguar Land Rover’s debt was downgraded further into junk territory by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, which said the company was going through £1billion a month to fund the shutdown from a cash pile of about £3.3billion.
Jaguar Land Rover declined to comment.
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