UK vehicle manufacturing continues to boom, with the latest report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealing that January-June 2015 was the strongest six-month period for vehicle production. Overall UK vehicle production is up more than 50% since 2009. However, while export sales were up 9.0%, UK production for the home market was down 7.1%.
Meanwhile, the UK saw 18% growth for Jaguar Land Rover in the same period. Similar increases were felt in Europe and North America, but a large slump of 27% in the China Region (recently JLR’s largest market) meant that overall JLR sales figures (239,212 vehicles) were fractionally down on the previous year (240,372).
JLR’s apparent slowdown in China can be attributed to its new factory in Guangzhou province, a joint venture with local manufacturer Chery. Range Rover Evoques for the Chinese market are now made locally rather than being shipped from Halewood in the UK.
But more worryingly, if Chinese media reports are accurate, other factors include the recent dive in demand for the Range Rover Evoque after faith in the model was shaken by a TV documentary on a Chinese state-controlled TV channel.
Elsewhere, Jaguar Land Rovers sales figures continue to be buoyed by strong demand for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.