Despite all the doom and gloom in the newspapers, the occasional bright light appears: the continued rise of English cricket, Cheryl Cole’s new album, the weather (naturally – we are British after all!) and now Jaguar Land Rovers sales and profit!
Thanks to a large rise in demand from primarily China, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has reported record annual pre-tax profits of £1.51bn and a rise in revenue of 37% to £13.5bn – with sales of 314,433 vehicles in the year to March 31, the most in the history of Jaguar and Land Rover.
The figures confirm the revival in British car making (Jaguar Land Rover has plants in the Midlands and Merseyside) and are further good news for the industry after General Motors confirmed it would invest in its Ellesmere Port site in Cheshire rather than close it.
Spearheaded by a 76% rise in sales in China to 50,994, JLR also secured higher than expected sales across Europe despite the eurozone debt crisis and the continued shrinkage of the new car market.
Their biggest market is still the UK where sales rose 3.2% to 60,022, but elsewhere in Europe the good news continued. Russian sales increased 38.1% to 16,142; German 22.3% to 13,675; France posted a 57.4% growth and Spain was up 18.1%.
Even in North America sales increased 15.4p% to 58,003,
Ralf Speth, chief executive, said: "The announcement of JLR’s financial results is a positive reflection of the continued level of consumer confidence in both of our brands. These record earnings, driven by strong product demand and operating efficiencies, give JLR the financial impetus to sustain its ongoing investment programme.”
And it’s all been done without any British governmental help too.
Back in 2009, Jaguar Land Rover owners Tata tried to seek financial assistance from the Labour government, but were rejected, despite the company employing over 21,000 staff in the UK. Rather than go bleating to the world about it, Tata rolled its collective sleeves up and decided to make a go of it, believing in their products such as the new Range Rover Evoque; hence the £4bn worth of investment that they committed to the UK in the past 12 months.
And it proved to be well-founded as consumers flocked to purchase their goods – all of which has lead to these profits and the news that JLR are now exporting more cars from the UK than it imports for the first time since 1976.
With this news, Jaguar Land Rover are rumoured to be looking to expand all three of its UK plants at Halewood, Castle Bromwich and Solihull with the very distinct possibility of a new engine factory being built in Wolverhampton. The car maker also has plans to produce cars in China for the domestic market there.
Amidst all the bunting, high-fives and other celebratory gestures, let’s not forget that Jaguar Land Rover was once actually owned by the UK (and now isn’t) so whilst it may be seen as a triumph for the British Bulldog spirit, in reality it isn’t.
But why let the whole truth (and nothing but the truth) get in the way of a party?