Award-winning Jaguar XF succeeds in attracting new customers to the brand
7 January 2009

Jaguar sold 20,346 cars in the UK in 2008 - an increase of nearly nine per cent over 2007. Globally Jaguar did well too, selling 65,350 vehicles, up eight per cent on 2007's figures.

The new Jaguar XF is responsible for much of the company's success. Jaguar's managing director Mike O'Driscoll said: "We introduced the all-new, award-winning Jaguar XF, and that attracted significant numbers of new customers to the brand."

Jaguar's results are impressive in the context of figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders, which record a tough year for luxury marques.

Porsche's UK sales figures fell by 31 per cent in 2008, while Mercedes slumped by nine per cent and BMW by almost seven per cent. Even market leader Ford went from 346,982 sales in 2007 to 322,514 last year, a drop of 7.5 per cent.

Overall, the number of new car registrations in the UK dipped again last month, but not as sharply as had been forecast.

Total UK car sales for 2008 only fell 11.3 per cent but, totalling just 2.1 million units, these represent the worst annual sales figures for 12 years.

New car sales dropped by 21 per cent compared with December 2007, but the drop was less than the 35 per cent analysts had predicted. December's figures also represent a significant improvement on the 36.8 per cent sales slump in November 2008.

The SMMT has forecast a 16 per cent drop in new car sales for 2009, which would make it the worst year for car sales since 1992, and renewed calls for government help for car makers.

SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt said: "It will be another difficult year for the UK automotive industry, with new vehicle registrations significantly reduced. The extraordinary circumstances we currently face mean that government support will be required to take advantage of global economic growth when it returns."

Matt Rigby

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