JLR’s order backlog grows larger

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Jaguar Land Rover’s order books swell by 10,000 cars amidst strong demand.

The order backlog at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) grew to 215,000 cars between October and December 2022 as retail and wholesale sales rose.

The rise of 10,000 units compared with the previous quarter hints that demand for JLR’s cars continues to outstrip its production capacity.

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JLR has been severely afflicted by the semiconductor chip shortage, which former CEO Thierry Bolloré warned would take “years” to resolve before he stepped down for personal reasons.

Overall, the firm sold 79,591 cars wholesale between October and December, an improvement of 5.7 per cent (4284) compared with the previous quarter and up 15 per cent (10,409) compared with the same period in 2021.

This growth was driven by volume increases in North America and the UK, up 17 per cent (3737) and 13 per cent (1612) respectively.

However, wholesales in China and Europe fell by 13 per cent (1669) and 3 per cent (536) respectively. The former was impacted by Covid, though, said JLR.

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North America, Europe and the UK were the car maker’s top three markets during the 2022 calendar year, with 81,313, 70,334 and 58,177 wholesales respectively.

JLR’s retail sales for the quarter were stronger still, at 84,827 cars – a 5.9 per cent (4701) improvement compared with the same period in 2021 but 3.7 per cent (3294) down quarter on quarter.

The slight shortfall compared with the previous quarter reflects the difference in timing between retail and wholesale, said JLR.

The Land Rover Defender was JLR’s most popular model at retail, with 19,841 sold – up 61.9 per cent (7589) year on year.

It was followed by the new Range Rover (14,076) and the Range Rover Evoque (11,203) – marking a successful quarter for Land Rover at retail, with the brand’s volumes rising 7 per cent (4568) year on year.

Jaguar’s retail performance was less noteworthy, as its sales rose by just 0.9 per cent (837) compared with October to December 2021.

The F-Pace SUV was the brand’s most popular model, recording 5884 sales – 70.1 per cent (2425) more than in the same period in 2021.

Of note was the poor performance of the Jaguar I-Pace, JLR’s only electric car. Just 1146 were sold during the quarter, a 55.2 per cent (1412) decrease year on year. The slump is also reflected in the model’s wholesales of 1111, a significant slump compared with the 2588 that went to dealerships during October to December 2021.

This may reflect the fact that JLR has ramped up production of the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, likely diverting limited semiconductor supplies to the two models.

Combined, the luxury SUVs reached 27,456 wholesales during the quarter – more than double the 13,537 sold between July and October.

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