Jaguar Land Rover has posted a profit for the first time in two years following bumper sales of its latest Range Rover.
The Indian automaker, which is headquartered in Coventry, said it had sold 5,000 units of its new Range Rover SV luxury 4×4 since its launch in October.
With an average retail price of £180,000, the model has netted £900 million for the company and helped Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) record its first profit since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company posted an after-tax profit of £261 million in the third quarter of its financial year as supplies of computer chips, essential for the production of its advanced vehicles, improved after bottlenecks.
Adrian Mardell, interim chief executive, said on Wednesday: “These improved results are testament to the hard work and dedication of our people across the company who have further increased production of our new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models.”
JLR, along with other global automakers, had blamed chip shortages for causing production problems for the past two years.
Last year, the company halved production at its Solihull plant from two shifts to one, impacting production of its Range Rover Velar and Jaguar F-Pace models. At the time, sources said JLR would concentrate production on top-of-the-line vehicles such as the Range Rover Sport.
The company said it had forged “one-to-one” relationships with major chip makers to ease the pressure on the supply of the vital items that enable the automated control of everything in its cars, from spark plugs to air conditioning.
JLR’s turnover for the twelve weeks to 31 December was £6 billion, up 28 per cent on the previous year. The quarterly profit compared to a loss of £67 million for the same period last year.
It now has about 215,000 customer orders on its books, up from more than 200,000 in the past three months.
The healthy numbers were mirrored by JLR’s parent company, India’s Tata Motors, which announced a profit of 29.6 billion rupees (£293 million) on Wednesday.
However, Tata Motors chief financial officer PB Balaji said JLR could miss its target of becoming debt-free next year as continued supply constraints threaten its turnaround, despite strong customer demand.
Wholesale volumes in China fell 13 percent quarter-on-quarter as lockdowns in that country forced dealers to close.