Monthly figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) are expected to show that Land Rover sales in March are 60% up on the same month last year. According to SMMT figures, approximately 11,000 Land Rovers were sold in the UK in March, more than in any other month since the brand was founded in 1948. British-based Land Rover exports 4x4s across the world and has enjoyed strong sales globally so far this year, benefiting both from the stabilising of the economy and the snow that engulfed the UK. This positive performance is a boost to Tata; the Indian conglomerate bought the company along with Jaguar from Ford in 2008 for $2.5bn (£1.5bn), only to then endure the luxury carmakers' losing £281m in the first 10 months of new ownership. The new record will also be a boost for the new management team of, Mumbai-based, Carl-Peter Forster, the new Group Chief Executive Officer of Tata Motors, and Ralf Speth, new JLR Chief Executive, who is based at Gaydon in Warwickshire. Previous chief executive David Smith was replaced in a boardroom switch announced in January.
The monthly figures from the SMMT are expected to show, within the next few hours, that Land Rover sales have exceeded the company's previous sales record of 10,600 in March 2006. March has become an important month for UK sales since 1999, when it became one of two months in the year when new registration numbers are issued. The performance of Land Rover is notable because the manufacturer has barely benefited from the, much vaunted, UK scrappage scheme simply because high price, premium SUVs are not where the scrappage scheme has boosted new vehicle sales.