Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) sales fell by nearly a quarter year on year in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.

The British firm, which is owned by Indian company Tata Motors, sold a total of 425,974 cars worldwide last year, a 23.6% decline on 2019. The Land Rover brand’s 323,480 vehicle sales were down 18.3%, while the 102,494 Jaguar models sold marked a 36.5% decline.

As with all cars firms, JLR was badly hit by the impact of Covid-19 and various lockdown measures, but company bosses said they were encouraged by the growth shown during the year. The firm sold 128,469 vehicles in the final three months of 2020, which, although down 9.0% year on year, was a 13.1% increase on the previous financial quarter running from July to September.

Notably, sales in China in the final quarter of 2020 were up 19.1% year on year. Sales in Europe were down 16.3% from October to December, with the UK posting a 8.9% fall for that three-month period. 

JLR also recorded encouraging sales for the electric Jaguar I-Pace, with the 7807 sold worldwide in the final three months of 2020 a 69.3% year-on-year rise. Land Rover Defender sales in the final three months of the year rose 66.0% compared with the previous quarter of 2020, due in part to the rollout of the short-wheelbase Defender 90.

Notably, JLR also said that 53% of sales in the final three months of the year offered some level of electrification, with 6.1% fully electric, 5.5% plug-in hybrids and 41.4% featuring a mild-hybrid powertrain. In total, 43.3% of the models the company sold in 2020 featured an electrified powertrain.

JLR commerical boss Felix Bräutigam said: “Although Covid-19 continues to significantly impact the global auto industry, we’re delighted to end the year with a second consecutive quarter of sales recovery.

“Our performance in China, the region least impacted by Covid-19 in the most recent quarter, has been particularly encouraging, with our sales there growing on both a year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter basis.

“Other markets are also showing strong signs of recovery, despite second Covid waves across the globe. We are well-placed in keeping our retailers open for business with online sales solutions, even when their doors are closed through lockdowns.”

JLR’s financial year runs from April until March.

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