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Automotive News, March 2018

Jaguar Land Rover saw its sales slip last month, dragged down by falls in the UK and Europe. It was still the West Midlands-based luxury carmaker’s second best February in its history, as the new Range Rover Velar and Land Rover Discovery helped boost sales.  But solid demand in China – up 3.3% – and in markets such as the Middle East and Russia failed to generate enough growth to counter the falls elsewhere. Overall sales for Jaguar Land Rover were down 2.6% in February to 39,911. With the launch of its new E Pace still ramping up, Jaguar was down by 5.2% to 11,565.

 

The F-Pace sports utility vehicle remains its biggest seller, followed up the big XF saloon which enjoyed a 15% hike in demand. That was partly due to the popularity of the long-wheelbase XFL version produced especially for China – JLR’s single biggest regional market. Land Rover slipped 1.5% despite the popularity of the Velar, Discovery and the new Range Rover and Rover Sport – including the first ever hybrid model.

 

The company blamed difficult trading conditions in its key European markets, especially the UK where sales were down 15.2% last month. In Europe sales fell 6.9%

 

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New UK new car registrations were down 2.8% in February from a year earlier, hit by another fall in the sale of diesel vehicles. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the industry’s trade body, said sales totalled 80,805 last month.

 

Demand for diesels fell by 23.5%, while sales of petrol cars rose 14.4%. Sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rose 7.2% year-on-year, driven by some new, smaller models coming on the market. The strong growth in sales of petrol cars and AFVs has been unable to offset the move away from diesel, which has now slid to a 35.6% market share.