The slowdown has been attributed to a state TV documentary in March that slated the model for gearbox-related problems. Jaguar Land Rover responded by recalling 36,451 Evoques, upgrading software and increasing the gearbox warranty by more than double.
But this wasn’t enough to stop a massive fall in demand, reports say, even though the criticism was leveled at UK-built Evoques when vehicles are now being assembled locally.
The arrival of the controversial ‘copycat’ Range Rover Evoque, the Landwind X7, which has recently become available to buy at the equivalent of £14,000, will also have delivered a blow to Evoque sales.
Chinese dealers have reportedly been forced to lay off staff and offer discounts around £10,000 (100,000 Yuan) in order to shift the large numbers of Chinese-made Evoques that are now sitting in their showrooms and tying up their cash-flow.
In January-March 2015, Land Rover sales in China dropped suddenly to 19,600 compared with 23,400 in the same period the previous year. The company’s latest January-June 2015 sales figures also show a slump of 27% compared to the same period in 2014.