China is set to become the second largest market for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) this fiscal year after the home market UK. For Tata Motors-owned JLR, China with its 87% growth in sales is the fastest growing market and is poised to surpass Europe and North America in terms of sales volume.
JLR sales in China nearly doubled to 10,869 units in the second quarter of the fiscal from 5,801 units in the corresponding period last fiscal. Meanwhile, Europe, the traditionally important market for JLR which passes through huge financial turmoil, showed a sluggish 5% growth by clocking 12,458 units and North America showed flat growth by selling 12,106 units.
According to the company's assessment, China is on course to become the second largest market for Land Rover and third largest for Jaguar in FY 2011-12.
JLR top management has been intensely trying to find a Chinese partner to start local manufacturing, which will substantially bring down the retail cost of its offerings and boost sales dramatically. "We have shortlisted a few potential local partners. Discussions are progressing," said Ralf Speth, MD & CEO, JLR.
Kenneth Gregor, CFO, JLR, said there is a strong demand for Jaguar XJ 3.0, which was introduced in China in March 2011. He expects Range Rover Evoque, which will roll out in China soon, to further boost JLR demand.