Automaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) posted a 6% decline in full-year sales on Friday after a difficult year in which its performance was hit by the declining Chinese auto market and declining demand for diesel vehicles in Europe.
Retail sales stood at 557,706 vehicles in the last year, hit by a 13.5% downturn in China, but in the last six months, the company reported double-digit growth in the country, with total company sales increasing 1.3% in December.
“2019 was a year of two halves,” stated Chief Commercial Officer Felix Brautigam.
“Over the last six months, we observed a marked improvement in China, where intensive work with our retailers, combined with major process and product improvements are starting to gain traction.”
At the beginning of 2019, JLR announced strategies to cut around 10% of its workforce and it has been pursuing measures to decrease costs and improve cash flows by 2.5 billion pounds.
JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors, returned to the black in the three months to the end of September last year, posting a 156 million-pound ($204 million) profit.
JLR, like most of the auto industry, has also dealt with the challenge of stepping up investment in zero and low-emissions vehicles as auto rules tighten while simultaneously dealing with a decline in demand for some conventionally-powered models.
It has coupled with BMW to jointly develop electric motors, transmissions and power electronics that should permit it to share some of the high prices of advancing the green technology.