Because of the surging demand for its cars in Asia, and the success of the Range Rover Evoque, JLR is expected to post profits of between £1.5bn and £1.6bn for the year to March 31, up from a record £1.1bn last year. The results, issued with figures from JLR's parent company Tata Motors on Tuesday, are likely to show that China is now a bigger market for the car maker than the UK. JLR has been turned around under Tata after it tried to seek financial assistance from the Labour government in 2009 and was rejected.
JLR sold 243,621 cars in the year to March 31, 2011 but is thought to have sold more than 300,000 in the last 12 months. In March, JLR reported its best-ever month, with more than 45,000 cars sold and year-on-year sales growth of 40 per cent. To keep up with this demand, JLR is planning to expand all three of its UK plants at Halewood, Castle Bromwich and Solihull and is building a new engine factory in Wolverhampton. The car maker also plans to produce cars in China for the domestic market and JLR insiders believe the company could eventually produce 500,000 cars a year.