PROFITS at Jaguar Land Rover were almost cut in half in the fourth quarter as the car maker was stung by a combination of falling diesel sales, Brexit uncertainty and vehicle taxation, it was revealed today.
The group, owned by India’s Tata Motors, saw pre-tax profit slump to £364m in the three months to March 31 – down from £676m in the same period last year.
For the year as a whole, pre-tax profits edged down from £1.6bn to £1.5bn.
JLR said that strong retail sales in the likes of China and North America were offset by a 12.8 per cent decline in the UK, where it was ‘impacted by consumer uncertainty surrounding diesel models, Brexit and vehicle taxation’.
In January, the car giant said it was to cut production at its Halewood plant amid slowing demand caused by Brexit and consumer concern over the future of diesel vehicles.
But boss Ralf Speth chose to focus on full-year revenues, which increased by six per cent to £25.8bn.
‘Despite external headwinds, these results reflect the underlying strengths of Jaguar Land Rover,’ he said. ‘Sales have reached a new high. Strong demand in our key overseas markets has offset the challenging conditions in the UK and other parts of Europe.
‘As we mark the first 10 years of Tata ownership, our focus is on shaping our future, and we will continue with over-proportional investment in new vehicles, manufacturing facilities and next-generation automotive technologies.’
The group sold 614,309 cars over the year, with strong demand for the Range Rover Velar, Discovery and Jaguar F-Pace.
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