Jaguar Land Rover attributes falling profits to decreasing diesel sales and Brexit - The Solihull Observer

Jaguar Land Rover attributes falling profits to decreasing diesel sales and Brexit

Solihull Editorial 24th May, 2018 Updated: 24th May, 2018   0

JAGUAR Land Rover is attributing falling profits to decreasing diesel sales, rising road tax and Brexit.

The ‘Big Cat’s’ chief executive professor Ralf Speth said a strong performance internationally mitigated the ‘challenging conditions’ in the UK market.

But pre-tax profits have seen a slight drop to £1.5billion from £1.6billion at the end of last year.

Profits from January to March 31 halved to £364million from £676million on the same period last year.

This followed the announcement of the government’s tax levies for new diesel vehicles in November.

UK sales saw a sharp drop of 13 per cent while European sales also saw a decline of five per cent.

Annual sales grew thanks to high demand in China and North America which also pushed revenues up by six per cent to £25.8billion.

But the negligible 1.7 per cent increase in overall car sales is dwarfed by last year’s 15.8 per cent rise.

Professor Speth, said: “Despite external headwinds, these results reflect the underlying strengths of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). “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 ten 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 company did celebrate its commitment to new sustainable technologies and vehicles.

It also confirmed production in its new Slovakia factory is due to begin later this year – a move some have claimed is due to a desire for cheaper labour after Brexit.

Pressures on UK markets have shown in the last month with 1,000 agency staff being cut at the company’s Lode Lane plant in Solihull.

Unite national officer for JLR Des Quinn attributed these cuts to falling consumer confidence, Brexit and badly thought through restrictive polices on diesel.

Julian Knight MP for Solihull and Dame Caroline Spelman MP for Meriden have since joined forces to lobby government ministers to ensure the push for green technology doesn’t jeopardise the Midlands car industry.

Prof Speth added: “Looking ahead, we will maintain our investment in products and technologies to provide our customers with the next generation of Jaguars and Land Rovers. We are confident in our plans to deliver robust growth and we are driving efficiencies to ensure that growth is sustainable and profitable.”

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