21 May 2012
JLR continues to dominate
Jaguar Land Rover continued its dominant sales performance during April, according to the latest figures. The new-car registrations data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that Jaguar sold 805 new cars last month, a 56% increase on the same month last year.
Plans are in the pipeline for a multi-million-pound facelift to its Castle Bromwich factory, and it is preparing for the launch of the new XF Sportbrake model (pictured) later this year. The company has also been boosted by the announcement that it is to put its new two-seater roadster — the F-Type — into full production. Stable-mate Land Rover has continued its strong performance; sales rose almost 54% last month, as the new Evoque model continues to prove popular with buyers.
April was a good month for the automotive industry, with new-car registrations rising by 3.3% year-on-year to 142,322 units. It was the third — and largest — increase this year, with January-April volumes up 1.4%. This performance was so encouraging that it has prompted the SMMT to revise its full-year production forecast to 1.95 million units — 0.4% up on 2011.
Meanwhile, Interserve looks to have won the contract to build the new £355 million Jaguar Land Rover engine plant in Wolverhampton. The Reading-based firm is understood to have beaten rivals Bowmer & Kirkland and Vinci Construction to pick up the contract. The new factory, which will manufacture low-emission engines, is set to create 750 jobs directly — a figure that is expected to more than double when taking into account new opportunities for the component supply chain. The factory is to be built on the i54 site north of Wolverhampton, which has been designated as part of the Black Country Enterprise Zone. Preparatory works are already under way there.