Jaguar Land Rover expects North American sales to jump
By Costas Pitas
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Sales of Jaguar Land Rover vehicles in North America will most likely rise by more than 14 percent this year, higher than the current year-to-date growth, the luxury British carmaker's chief executive for the region said on Tuesday.
The automaker, owned by India's Tata Group (TAMO.NS: Quote) since 2008, has seen sales in China dive 29 percent but has recorded strong growth in the United States and Canada, helping to compensate for the downturn.
Joe Eberhardt said that the pace of growth in North American sales should pick up further in the next couple of months.
"We will, with the improved supply, I think beat that number over the next couple of months," Eberhardt told Reuters in an interview at the Frankfurt auto show.
Jaguar launched its first crossover sports utility vehicle at the Frankfurt show, which Eberhardt said should help balance sales between the Jaguar and Land Rover brands.
Jaguar sales fell by 4.4 percent in the United States, compared to a 20.5 percent rise for Land Rover in the first eight months of this year, according to Autodata Corp. Land Rover has accounted for around 80 percent of JLR sales in the United States this year.
Eberhardt also told Reuters that the United States lost out to Slovakia for the production a new Jaguar Land Rover model partly due to labor costs.
In August, JLR said it had signed a letter of intent to build a new plant in Slovakia after ruling out a number of alternative overseas locations in Europe, the United States and Mexico. Continued...