Jaguar Land Rover hit in China and on the European continent by falling sales

The sales figures for 2018 were down in 2018 on 2017 by 4.6%. Within this the pattern was

North America plus 7.2%
UK minus 1.5%
Europe minus 7.8%
China minus 21.6%

The Uk performance was especially good given the fall in the overall market thanks to higher Vehicle Excise Duties, the attack on diesels and the general squeeze on car loan credit. As JLR said “The UK’s performance in particular has been encouraging”

It is a great pity JLR has to reduce its workforce thanks to a nasty decline in China and a marked slowdown on the continent.


  1. Anonymous
    January 10, 2019

    JLR performs among the least well in reliability surveys.

    If my life depended on an outback vehicle (the ultimate test) it would have to be Japanese.

    1. sm
      January 10, 2019

      Seen elsewhere recently: you want a Land Rover to get you into a desert, and you need a Toyota to get you back out of one!

    2. Jagman84
      January 10, 2019

      In a 2017 survey, Jaguar (29th) are really no better or worse than the direct competition (Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc.) However, Lexus is firmly in the top ten (6th) so your last statement is extremely valid one.

    3. Sir Joe Soap
      January 10, 2019

      My Freelander made rear passengers sick. Or perhaps we were listening to BBC.

  2. Lemtonia
    January 10, 2019

    JLR have made it explicit that Brexit is the main cause of these lost jobs for British workers.

    Reply Not true from the figures!

    1. ian wragg
      January 10, 2019

      How has a 21% drop in China have anything to do with Brexit. Especially as Sterling has dropped 15%.
      Germany is now technically in recession and I suppose that is Brexits fault.
      Do you work for the BBC or Robert Peston???

      1. ian wragg
        January 10, 2019

        I bet the Yellow vest protests and the latest round of sexual harassment in Germany is doing wonders for the transfer of Jobs from London powst Brexit.

    2. Lifelogic
      January 10, 2019

      Indeed but the government is conducting an ochestra playing a symphony of project fear lies from the usual suspects. I just listened to May’s robotic pantomime of a press conference with some Japanese PM saying “the whole World wants the UK to avoid no deal Brexit”. May is a robot playing a stick record of drivel, statements of the blindingly obvious or complete lies.

      “This is a good deal, a great deal for the UK, the only deal, no other deal will ever be on offer as the EU have made very clear, leaving without a deal is jumping off a cliff …. This is a good deal, a great deal for the UK ….” then just repeat ad nauseum. Time to go dear!

      1. Richard1
        January 10, 2019

        Mrs May has just pulled the same stunt with Mr Abe as Cameron pulled with Obama. Of course Mr Abe should have said this is a matter for Parliament and the people of the UK, not for him. After all, we don’t urge Japan to join a political union with China, even though that might be convenient for UK and other foreign businesses.

        1. Mitchel
          January 11, 2019

          Japan tried a “political union” with China in the 1930s-it didn’t quite work out as they expected!

        2. rose
          January 11, 2019

          No-one ever asks our Japanese friends how they would feel about going into political union with mainland Asia – including free movement of people from the mainland as well as anyone who had managed to settle in Asia from other continents; plundering of their fishing grounds; annexation of one of their islands; vast payments in tribute; being ruled and regulated out of their competitiveness; their factories and jobs being moved to the mainland; putting their soldiers under Chinese command – and all this without a unilateral means of escape.

      2. Mark B
        January 11, 2019

        But it is not even a ‘deal’.

        1. Alan Jutson
          January 11, 2019

          Mark B

          Exactly, the so called deal has still to be negotiated, so yet another 2-3 years of uncertainty, with no guarantee of anything being resolved.

          Beggars belief that MP’s will allow this to go through without getting anything, and I mean anything in return.

    3. jerry
      January 10, 2019

      @Lemtonia; Strange that the BBC is not reporting that then, nor can non UK job losses be explained on Brexit!…

      On the other hand are you conflating two different announcements? Honda have also stated today they will be suspending UK production for six days in April as a contingency measure in case there is supply disruption, if this if the formal announcement of what they semi announced last year they are simply bringing some annual maintenance forward.

    4. Anonymous
      January 10, 2019

      So nothing to do with the Range Rover coming bottom in class ratings with 67% reliability.

    5. Jagman84
      January 10, 2019

      It is the downturn in China (biggest market), demonization of Diesel, new stringent emissions regulations, coupled with ongoing consumer uncertainty due to them. Brexit is not mentioned at all. I suggest that you refrain from arguing the minutiae as my sources are long-term acquaintances and rock-solid.

      1. margaret howard
        January 10, 2019


        ” Brexit is not mentioned at all. ”

        “They mean a downturn in Chinese sales, a slump in diesel sales and concerns about UK competitiveness post-Brexit. ”


        1. Jagman84
          January 11, 2019

          That is BBC spin, as you well know. I have close contacts at JLR and Brexit was not mentioned in staff briefings.

          1. jerry
            January 12, 2019

            @margaret howard; Many on this site use the letters “BBC” as short hand for the UK main stream media and the sectors lazy/biased reporting (not just on Brexit issues). Also, when news in on a webpage I’m always suspicious when there is no link to the original press-office/market statement from the company concerned – I ask myself why not, is it because it’s unavailable or because doing so would force the media outlet into a no-spin zone that doesn’t fit their editorial lines.

            As for the Bloomberg page you cite, it even states;

            Brexit played an indirect role in the decision, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer Ralf Speth said

            Always best to full read, and understand, the page you are citing, that it does actually say what you think it might from the headline!…

            Brexit is a small part of a much larger problem for the automotive industry here in the EU and the RotW, there has also been job losses in the USA, is that due to Brexit too?

    6. matthu
      January 10, 2019

      Even the BBC reported that jobs were being lost as a result of

      “… a downturn in Chinese sales, a slump in diesel sales and concerns about UK competitiveness post-Brexit.

      JLR is particularly exposed to the first two of these factors.

      So your attribution as to the cause, Lemtonia, is just twaddle.

    7. libertarian
      January 10, 2019


      Dont tell porkies. The statement from JLR makes it explicitly clear that they have many major difficulties in their business, mostly in China

      If you weren’t so blinkered you may well have noticed also today that Ford has announced major closures of plants in Germany & Spain I suppose thats brexit too?

      You might also have noticed that the German car makers have had a dreadful time recently and sales are well down

    8. Sir Joe Soap
      January 10, 2019

      Oh this is delayed from the Brexit vote? It took 2.5 years for people to stop buying JLRs?

    9. Nicholas Murphy
      January 10, 2019

      Not in the press coverage I heard today, Lemtonia.
      P.S. Post-Brexit referendum I decided that my new car wouldn’t be an Audo or a BMW. I’m really enjoying my new diesel XE.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        January 10, 2019

        We won’t buy BMW or Audi either. We have now had our 4th Land Rover and they have all been excellent cars. Never had any problems with them. We now have a Range Rover and I love it…..yes, love it. In a recent survey I looked at Land Rover was amongst the top 10 cars for problems. BMW was listed too but when I really looked at the figures they said Land Rover was unreliable after 10 years!! Well, most cars start to become unreliable after 10 years. The taxes and uncertainty over diesel has been the main problem for them. It’s a great company and sad to see what is happening.

    10. sm
      January 11, 2019

      JLR got a £multi-million bung from the EU to move its manufacturing to Slovakia — why?

      1. Jagman84
        January 11, 2019

        Why? So they can make room for the new range of EVs to be manufactured in the UK. Quite simple really, isn’t it? Who wouldn’t take an incentive to do something that they needed to do in any event? Slovakia gets EU ‘state-aid’.

        1. David Price
          January 11, 2019

          Their first EV, the iPace, is manufactured in Austria – the main reason I didn’t consider it for my car purchase this year.

          I’ll see how things are in 3 years but I suspect JLR and other higher end manufacturers are going to face stiff competition in the EV space from Chinese brands. Why buy a Jag when you can get a Chinese copy for 1/3 the cost, after all loyalty clearly counts for nothing and you’ll be able to get a name tag and trim kit off ebay to complete the masquerade.

      2. Bosnich
        January 11, 2019

        Something that the UK government could not have given them ???

  3. Edward2
    January 10, 2019

    There is an element which is Brexit.
    It is due to the uncertainty.
    We’ve had over 2 years since the referendum and we still are unsure what is going to finally happen.
    As a vehicle is a big purchase decision many are holding off until the future is clearer.
    But in my opinion Brexit is a small element.
    JLR and other car manufacturers have been hit by many other obstacles which have been well reported on here.
    As well as a slowdown in the Chinese market which as the figures show is having the biggest effect.

  4. Iain Moore
    January 10, 2019

    It should also be noted that JLR was in the receipt of a shed load of state aid to set up in Slovakia.

  5. Andy
    January 10, 2019

    JLR has made clear there are 3 main factors behind the cuts.

    1 China – sales have fallen sharply. Due to economic concerns there and Trump’s trade war.

    2 Diesels – most of its cars are diesel and policy, quite rightly, has turned anti-diesel.

    3 Brexit. Brexit. Brexit. Brexit.

    Incidentally – JLR is creating jobs in Slovakia. Isn’t there a famous (but untrue) story among Brexiteers that the EU paid for British jobs to move to Slovakia? Ironic.

    Still at least the thousands of workers affect by your Brexit will be able to claim Universal Credit. Oh dear.

    1. Jagman84
      January 11, 2019

      3 is untrue and wouldn’t be unique to them.

    2. jerry
      January 12, 2019

      @Andy; What the JLR CEO actually said was; Brexit is an indirect cause.

      As for JLR and Slovakia, the EU development grants are true.

  6. oldtimer
    January 10, 2019

    The demonisation of diesel in the UK and the EU is also a contributor to the sales decline. In the UK higher taxes have been levied. In the EU bans on use of diesels in urban areas is a growing trend. The big risks for JLR going forward will be (a) its ability to design and develop competitive vehicles adapted to the evolving tax and regulatory regimes which favour electric propulsion, (b) the speed and effectiveness of the development of the networks of charging stations that will be needed in the future and (c) user take up of this new and rapidly evolving technology. Each of these risks is marked by huge uncertainty, a point acknowledged by JLR in its presentation to investors (its lenders) in June last year. JLR is seeking to hedge its bets by redesigning its body-in-white platforms so that they can accommodate either mild hybrid (a 48v i/c system) or hybrid (i/c plus battery system) or battery electric only. They will probably succeed in producing competitive propulsion systems (the Jaguar I-Pace on a different platform demonstrates that). The big unknowns are development of the recharging networks and how consumer demand evolves. These unknowns dwarf Brexit issues important though they are in the immediate term.

    1. Bosnich
      January 11, 2019

      Funnily enough,despite the demonisation of diesel in Europe there has been none whatsoever here in Australia.

  7. Richard
    January 10, 2019

    More Brexit reality denial.
    Japanese PM tells May ‘whole world’ wants her to avoid no deal .
    Not strictly true of course, Putin would laugh his socks off.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      January 10, 2019

      Let’s stay in the EU and pay Slovakia another lump of cash to take more of our jobs away. Who needs them?

      EU bad for jobs (in the UK)

    2. fedupsoutherner
      January 10, 2019

      Richard. Yes, it smacks of Obama coming over and back of the queue stuff. As far as I am aware many countries have expressed their surprise that we are going for Mays deal. They think we would be better off out. The USA would like to trade with us but all the time we are in the EU even with Mays deal this won’t be possible.

    3. JOHN FINN
      January 10, 2019

      It reminded me of the stage-managed Obama “back of the queue” statement just before the referendum in 2016.

  8. Bob
    January 10, 2019

    Phil Hammond would have foreseen the effect his attack on car manufacturers would have if he had any foresight at all. He was a poor choice for Chancellor, his obsession with AGW and the EU have led to some imprudent decisions.

    1. Lifelogic
      January 11, 2019

      “Imprudent” the man is a massive liability to the economy! The highest taxes for forty years, the most complex taxes (another tax on top in itself), a rigged expensive green crap energy market, endless government waste, stamp duty at up to 15% if you move home, mugging of pension pots and landlords and tenants, over regulation of bank lending (killing many sensible investments), project fear and Carney actively destroying confidence in the UK, a 20% increase in insurance tax …….. he is an appalling, remainer socialist. He is doing the complete opposite of what the country needs.

  9. Richard1
    January 10, 2019

    I drive an excellent JLR car. I originally went for a diesel car following all the EU / govt propaganda about how green it was, about 15 years ago. Of course like millions of other drivers I didn’t then realise how the atmosphere was really being polluted by particulates from diesel and the irrelevance of the trivial extra CO2. I should think that’s a major issue in JLRs current difficulties – I will not buy another diesel given they are now being banned and charged extra all over the place. It would be good to have some sort of recognition out of the EU / green blob of the huge damage done to the environment over the last 2 decades by the diesel promotion policy, for which they are to blame. We are often asked by Continuity Remain for an example of EU regs we would be better without – here’s a good one.

    Meanwhile in other auto industry news, Rolls Royce is on a roll due to strong US sales driven by President Trumps tax cuts. Yes, US purchasers are buying rolls Royces despite Brexit. Perhaps they will continue to do so following 29 March.

    1. Jagman84
      January 11, 2019

      Do not be mistaken in thinking that only diesel creates particulates. Petrol cars do so but the particulates are a quarter of the size, so far more invasive in the lungs. Add in Carbon Monoxide and you see where the case for abolition of both fuels comes from. The dilemma is that EVs are far from being ready to replace ICE cars. Mandatory changeover without the required infrastructure is a recipe for disaster. Hence, the VW move to create their own charging networks.

  10. Mike of Wokingham
    January 10, 2019

    I’m not sure that you will be able to change the perception of most people that this is a direct consequence of Brexit. Delays in finding a Brexit deal are perceived as a reason to delay investment decisions.

  11. Adam
    January 10, 2019

    Those who depend on selling to the Chinese should develop products suited to what Chinese consumers demand, just as the best operators do in all other markets.

  12. hans christian ivers
    January 10, 2019


    It is unfortunate that both Ford, Honda and Toyota have also announced lay offs and mentioning lack of confidence due to Brexit as an important reason for the lay offs as well, as was the case for the comments from the CEO of Jaguar. Land Rover

    Reply Just not true as the figures I supplied show. Ford has problems on the continent and no longer assembles any vehicle in the UK

    1. Lifelogic
      January 11, 2019

      Old cars are often better, simpler, far cheaper and are often more reliable than new ones and cheaper to maintain. This as new ones have to comply with very tight, often misguided and very expensive regulations on emmisions safety and the likes.

      So why buy a new one?

    2. hans christian ivers
      January 11, 2019


      Ford were talking about engine production going down in the UK so get your facts correct and aligned, when you start talking about truth and not true

    3. libertarian
      January 11, 2019


      Stop making it up as you go along. Ford are closing factories in Germany and Spain

      The problems with the car industry are caused entirely by the EU and their failed diesel policy which they suddenly U turned on .

      1. hans christian ivers
        January 12, 2019


        Ford just announced they are shedding 1.250 employees in the UK but you keep on going with your nonsense, even when the facts are staring at you

    4. margaret howard
      January 11, 2019

      “Reply Just not true as the figures I supplied show. Ford has problems on the continent and no longer assembles any vehicle in the UK”

      Reply to reply:

      Ford and Volkswagen have announced plans to form a “strategic alliance” that could spawn new commercial vehicles.

      The firms, two of the largest companies in the car industry, released a joint statement saying that the proposed partnership would “strengthen each company’s competitiveness” and could lead to “several joint projects”.

      So what are the problems?

      1. Edward2
        January 12, 2019

        And the reason Ford and VW are doing this is…..?
        It is to help deal with problems both companies have.

  13. StanleyW
    January 10, 2019

    You can play the numbers anyway you want but after listening to theJLR boss today it doesn’t inspire confidence- and he’s not talking about the past..he’s more looking at the future

    1. Jagman84
      January 11, 2019

      He’s reading the prepared script, so as to keep ‘on message’. The JLR hierarchy is stuffed full of mainland Europeans, wedded to the EU. I would be amazed to hear them say anything to the contrary.

      1. margaret howard
        January 11, 2019

        YAWN – everything and everybody is blamed but never Brexit. How short sighted can you be?

        1. libertarian
          January 12, 2019

          margaret howard

          The reason for that is that Brexit isn’t the cause of most of the worlds problems . Its only ultra remainer nutters who think the whole world revolves around the EU

          You can’t tell us WHY Brexit would be a problem to a car company , you can only make up silly excuses about things you dont understand such as supply chain JIT etc

          1. hans christian ivers
            January 12, 2019


            You have already shown you do not understand a lot about the mfr. industry several times over

  14. oldtimer
    January 10, 2019

    There are reports in the USA that Ford and VW will announce a collaboration at nest weeks Detroit auto show. If true it will have implications for Ford operations in Europe, possibly significant for those still based in the UK.

  15. Sir Joe Soap
    January 10, 2019

    You might have added despite the fall in the £. That should be giving them a great boost. Something politically and economically going wrong at JLR methinks.
    I smell a rat.

  16. Rien Huizer
    January 10, 2019

    Mr Redwood,

    A few months ago Moody’s downgraded JLR from Baa2 to Baa3, importantly, with a negative outlook. Meanwhile there are few signs JLR’s cash consumtion will stop or reverse, making a further ratings cut (to sub-investment grade) ( possible? ed) within six months. As one of the smallest automotive groups in Europe and heavily reliant on diesel sales, it will be extremely difficult to avoid equity infusions from the Indian Tata group (parent) , Chery (Chinese SOE, JV partner there) or some form of restructuring. The causes are: lack of scale, heavy reliance on components from outside the UK (not only EU) implosion of the Chinese market. Problems are both strategic, tactical and external.

    Despite the fact that JLR is one of the smaller car manufacturers with a long history of problems, a severe financial problem at JLR would have grave consequences for the UK automotive industry, as well as for its many dealerships. The relocation of Discovery production to Slovakia may be too late.

    Brexit is not a major problem but it could be the proverbial straw.

    1. Know-Dice
      January 11, 2019

      There was a program on television a few months back about Jaguar and they specifically said their problems were due to too many diesels in their range and too slow to market with a Jaguar SUV.

      But certainly the EU giving “aid” & funding the move of previously UK located businesses is something that should be more openly discussed and revealed by the MSM, BBC & Sky included.

    2. libertarian
      January 11, 2019


      See also Ford

  17. Ronald Olden
    January 10, 2019

    This fall has affected all the high end car makers globally.

    The German Car industry in particular has suffered terrible falls. Germany might actually be in recession.

    John Redwood thinks it’s a pity that West European countries are not encouraging demand with even cheaper and more plentiful borrowing. But his ‘Keynesian ‘Demand Management” is as silly now as it’s always was pre Thatcher.

    With the exception of the very elite, upper end, expensive car brands which buyers revel in paying over the odds for, buyers in Jaguar’s market segments are finally losing interest in wasting money paying over the odds and changing their cars more often than necessary.

    It’s impossible to service such markets from high wage, high cost economies like the UK Western Europe or the United States, and even harder with the high dealership overheads on which these suppliers waste money.

    This sort of manufacturing needs to decant to East Europe, the Far East or elsewhere where the labour and land is cheaper. If it doesn’t, manufacturers there will set up and push them out of business altogether.

    People are moving away from buying ‘things’ for the sake of it and into spending the money on services instead. And when we do buy ‘things’ we want the cheapest possible price for what we get and the biggest choice.

    The UK cannot earn a living out of volume manufacturing, any more than we can out of coal, steel or out of any of the other industries of the past. People won’t pay the necessary prices to make it viable in the UK as long as identical products can me made much elsewhere.

    It called ‘trade’. We do what we can do most profitably, and buy things off others who make what we want.

    1. Mitchel
      January 11, 2019

      Mercedes-Benz are opening a new plant on a new industrial park just outside Moscow this year.They don’t seem to have been troubled by sanctions!

  18. Cheshire Girl
    January 10, 2019

    Of course all the news channels are blaming Brexit. That was entirely predictable.

  19. Original Richard
    January 10, 2019

    The Road Haulage Association, the CBI and other pro-EU corporate organisations are all predicting chaos at the Dover/Calais crossing and enormous lorry queues in Kent.

    I would therefore suggest that all leavers between now and Brexit reduce their purchases of EU merchandise to help these corporates cope with Brexit and at the same time reduce our £100bn/year trading deficit with the EU.

  20. Original Richard
    January 10, 2019

    It’s not Brexit uncertainty that has affected diesel sales but the German diesel emissions testing fraud and the EU’s attempt to increase their tax take through increased direct taxation on carbon fuels and indirect taxation through threatened use restrictions.

    To make matters worse, it is currently unclear as to which type of vehicle to purchase and no-one now believes the “experts” or governments after their reversal on the environmental advantages of diesel.

  21. Iain Gill
    January 11, 2019

    Interesting that the yellow vests in France have destroyed over sixty percent of speed cameras, don’t think it would take much for similar grass roots rejection of the prevelant anti car measures here.

  22. Bryan Harris
    January 11, 2019

    ..and this is all down to Brexit of course – No reports fail to mention Brexit

  23. bigneil
    January 11, 2019

    I’ll assume the majority of those 4500 who are to lose their jobs will be paying a mortgage, which, if not paid, will result in them losing their home. Will they be offered a council house, or are all the council houses full of people who jumped out of a lorry on the M6 the other day? As we don’t hear of or see homeless illegals on our streets, I’ll make an assumption who will be housed and who won’t be.

  24. Den
    January 11, 2019

    JLR made the decision to relocate some of its factory work out of the UK in 2015. Long before the National Referendum. So “Brexit” has nowt to do with it.
    However, it has new been revealed that Slovakia, using some of the cash received from Brussels, as a Net recipient, ‘persuaded’ JLM management with a £110 Millions sweetener. The wonderful EU takes British jobs and gives them to a smaller EU Nation. Still, I suppose it could be worse. JLR had threatened to relocate to Mexico.
    I just wonder how this new factory will fare in the Quality Assurance inspections of their finished cars.

  25. Dioclese
    January 11, 2019

    It’s even more of a shame that mouthpieces like the BBC seek to blame a decline in Chinese diesel sales on Brexit.
    This is clearly nonsense…

  26. BR
    January 11, 2019

    The real reason JLR are suffering is the lack of foresight of their management who have failed to foresee that people are not buying new diesels.

    Other manufacturers have shifted to designing new petrol and electric models while JLR’s dinosaurs did the equivalent of ‘Nah. That’s not a meteor’ when upcoming legislation to remove diesels (or heavily penalise them, which is much the same) shows that it’s not a smart purchase for consumers.

    JLR’s preponderance of diesel models in their lineup is the major reason they are failing.

  27. Nigel Seymour
    January 11, 2019

    For what it’s worth I’ll stick with my comments a while back. It’s down to supply and demand and nobody wants to rush out and buy a JLR. There are many options out there that make JLR look a bit out of date and they have been trading on a now diminishing brand. I liken it to British Leyland – remember them. The management of course will blame Brexit as does almost every company in the UK who ‘start’ to fail. This says a lot about our business leaders, some who cant see farther than the end of their business noses…

    Thankfully, there are some that see Brexit as a great opportunity for this Great Britain and NI, our standing in the world and promotion of free trade

  28. HJ
    January 15, 2019

    John – Can you explain what you mean by “the attack on diesels”?
    While it is true that diesel has attracted negative publicity for reasons concerned with pollution and the VW scandal, I am not aware that there have been any new government (i.e. legal) regulations aimed at ‘attacking’ diesel use.

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