• Full-year deliveries increased 5% to 487,065 cars, SUVs
  • Record sales in Europe, North America offset drop in China

Jaguar Land Rover said sales in 2015 rose 5 percent to 487,065 vehicles, missing the half-million delivery target the British manufacturer set a year ago, as a decline in China offset gains made from record demand in Europe and North America.

The luxury unit of India’s Tata Motors Ltd. posted its sixth consecutive year of gains, with Land Rover sport utility vehicle sales rising 6 percent to 403,079 deliveries on demand for the new Discovery Sport compact SUV and the more expensive Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models. The Jaguar brand sold 83,986 cars, an increase of 3 percent, the Whitley, England-based division said in a statement.

The carmaker posted a 24 percent sales drop in China, in the world’s largest vehicle market, where a sharp economic slowdown and a government crackdown on extravagant official spending have tempered expectations for growth. The luxury-vehicle maker, which contributed 80 percent of Mumbai-based Tata’s revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30, outlined plans last month for a $1.5 billion auto factory in Slovakia, part of an effort to expand lineups at the Jaguar and Land Rover nameplates.

“With China slowing even further, 2016 may be a difficult year for Jaguar Land Rover,” said Deepesh Rathore, director at Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors. “The good news for JLR is that their portfolio and volumes are still small and so, as they add new models, they will continue growing, albeit at a slower pace.”

Sales gains last year were propelled by a 21 percent jump to 100,636 deliveries in the division’s home market of the U.K., a 28 percent surge in other European countries to 110,298 vehicles and a 25 percent increase in North America to 94,066, the carmaker said. Jaguar will introduce its compact XE sedan in that market and begin deliveries of its first crossover, called the F-PACE, this year.

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