I don’t normally cut and paste from press releases, but this line from the JLR PR office is hard to beat for its brevity.
The company has just announced that it sold 487,065 vehicles in 2015, five percent up on what it managed in 2014. Land Rover remains much the dominant partner, accounting for 403,079 of the vehicles sold.
Although JLR isn’t breaking down numbers into individual models sales, it says sales of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models reached an all-time high. Even better news for the health of the Land Rover brand is the news that the new Discovery Sport is now selling around 10,000 units per month, making it the second best-selling model after the Evoque.
The early success of the Disco Sport is more important than it might seem. The crucial global market for premium compact SUVs was one that Land Rover had been missing out on.
In the latter half of its life, annual global sales of the Freelander 2 were comparatively poor, stuck as they were at around 55,000 units - less than half of what the model's competitors from BMW and Audi could manage.
By getting the Disco Sport up to an annualised 120,000 sales, Land Rover has plugged an important gap in its range. The Evoque, the brand's smallest model and now into its fifth year on sale, is still selling strongly and is the brand’s best seller.
Around the world, combined JLR sales across Europe were up 28% to 110,298 units while sales in the UK finally cracked six figures. The US remains a market with much potential, because while sales were up by 25%, they remained under 100,000 units at 94,066.
It’s interesting to consider that the combined European and US new car markets account for around 13m and 17m annual sales respectively, but JLR takes just 100,000 or so in each market. That represents nothing if not the potential for growth.
Jaguar remains very much the minor partner in JLR. Its sales were up three percent in 2015 to 83,986 vehicles. It’s true that 2015 was a transition year for the brand, with the new XF and all-new XE arriving in the second half of the year. The real test for Jaguar will be the launch of the F-Pace later this year.
The F-Pace looks great - clearly lifting the style of the F-Type - and is the right kind of car in a booming market niche. If this glamorous vehicle doesn’t break the Jaguar brand into the mainstream, the first serious cracks will have appeared in JLR’s incredible run of success.