Demand grew by 30% in China, helped by the success of the market-specific Jaguar XFL, which boosted XF sales by 22%. North American sales were the second most improved, with numbers up by 16%.
UK sales dropped by 14%, likely impacted by recent changes in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates, which substantially increased rates due on cars costing more than £40,000. This sales decrease prevented an improvement on European sales compared with the first quarter of 2016.
Despite this, Coventry-based JLR’s first quarter revenue was up by 5% to £5.6 billion, with pre-tax profits totalling £595 million. Of this, £437m came from changes to the company’s pension plans, but JLR says that gain was offset by “the seasonality of sales in Q1 following a strong Q4 of 2016”, as well as launch and investment costs.
JLR CEO Ralf Speth said: "In challenging market conditions, we are continuing to plan for profitable, sustainable growth. Our teams have been hard at work creating world-class cars in an unprecedented level of launch activity for Jaguar Land Rover.”
JLR is planning on investing £4bn on new products, research and development and manufacturing in the coming years. It will launch the Jaguar I-Pace next year and is soon to open a new factory in Slovakia.