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by George Skentzos

It was a little over a year ago that Ford was only too eager to offload its struggling UK-bred offspring, Jaguar and Land Rover, which faced plummeting sales and tough economic times.

Now in the hands of Tata Motors, Jaguar has reported a healthy eight per cent sales increase for 2008 despite a significant drop in US sales brought on by the financial crisis.

Jaguar sold 65,000 vehicles in 2008, while in its most lucrative North American market sales fell four per cent to 15,500 – although still well below the industry wide 18 per cent average sales slump.

Gary Temple, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America, announced the company forecasts demand for its vehicles to be flat in 2009, with analysts predicting further industry decline.

Jaguar sales in the North American market still have a long way to go before reaching the previous sales peak of 61,204 set six years ago under its former owner Ford.

The brand is set to receive a major boost in the coming year with the debut of several modern, high-performance models that will well and truly shed Jaguar’s old-time image.




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