Jaguar Land Rover said retail sales in July fell 21.6% year on year to 36,144 vehicles “primarily reflecting transitional issues in certain markets”.
Volume was down significantly in China (46.9%) reflecting continued market volatility in the first month of the import duty change as well as trade tensions.
Sales were also down in Europe (26.5%) and the UK (18.3%), impacted by the industry-wide issue of delays in WLTP certification of 2019 model year vehicles.
But Jaguar Land Rover said it had “made good progress” with all its vehicles now certified or expected to be so shortly.
Retail sales were also down in North America (9.5%), resulting from softer industry volumes (down more than 3%) combined with foregoing some higher discounted business and later timing for new model year launches this year compared to a year ago.
Sales in overseas markets were up 8.6%.
JLR nonetheless continues to expect sales growth for the full year with its strongest product line-up ever and new products to support growth.
“We have had challenges to navigate in key markets this month,” said chief commercial officer Felix Brautigam.
“Despite that we have lots of reasons to be positive. After some short delays because of the transfer to WLTP emissions regulations we are now well-placed in the premium market. We anticipate the impact of this transfer will be short-lived.
“We are also adapting to the impact of tariff changes in the Chinese market. While this could strengthen demand, the trade conflict with the US has a negative effect on automotive buyers’ confidence and transaction prices in China. Also the US car market has recently shown signs of softening.
“We remain positive and confident in our award-winning product line-up.”
Jaguar retail sales in July were 10,992 and Land Rover volume was 25,152 vehicles, down 15.2% and 24% respectively year on year.
Total JLR retail sales for the first seven months of 2018 calendar year were 354,363, down 2.4%.
The company said this was due to lower wholesales, higher China incentives combined with an unfavourable balance sheet currency revaluation and higher depreciation and amortisation resulting from continuing investment.