Jaguar Land Rover has posted its first profit for two years after bumper sales of its newest Range Rover.
The Indian-owned car maker, which has a head office in Coventry, said it had sold 5,000 of its new Range Rover SV luxury 4×4 since its launch in October.
At an average selling price of £180,000, the model has netted £900m for the business and helped Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) record its first profit since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company made a post-tax profit of £261m in the third quarter of its financial year as supply of computer chips, vital for 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 business who have delivered a further increase in production of our New Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models.”
Along with other global automotive manufacturers JLR had blamed chip shortages for causing production issues over the past two years.
Last year the company halved production at its Solihull factory from two shifts to one, affecting output of its Range Rover Velar and Jaguar F-Pace models. At the time, sources said JLR would concentrate production on top-end vehicles such as the Range Rover Sport.
The company said it had forged “one on one” relationships with major chip manufacturers to help ease pressure on supplies of the vital items, which power computerised control of everything in its cars from spark plugs to air conditioning.
JLR’s sales for the twelve weeks to 31 December amounted to £6bn, an increase of 28pc on last year. The quarterly profit compared to a £67m loss for the same period last year.
It now has around 215,000 customer orders on its books, an increase of more than 200,000 over the last three months.
The healthy figures were reflected by JLR’s parent company, India’s Tata Motors, which announced profits of 29.6bn rupees (£293m) on Wednesday.
However, Tata Motors’ chief financial officer PB Balaji said JLR could miss its target of becoming debt free next year as lingering supply constraints threaten its turnaround, despite strong customer demand.
Wholesale volumes in China declined 13pc from the previous quarter as lockdowns in that country forced dealerships to close.