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Tata sees Jaguar luxury car sales fall for 11th month in US

Demand for Land Rover SUVs helps automaker post a 2% increase in overall North America sales

The sales of Jaguar have been sagging in the U.S. amid weak demand for cars and a slow pace of adoption of its E-Pace models.   © Reuters

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Jaguar Land Rover, the luxury automaker owned by India's Tata Motors, saw sales of Jaguar car models fall for the 11th straight month in August in the U.S.

However, demand for Land Rover sport-utility vehicles pushed up overall sales of the British automaker by 2%. Jaguar Land Rover sold a total of 9,648 cars and SUVs across North America, compared with 9,421 units in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The sales were crimped by a sharp drop in volumes of Jaguar luxury sedans that reported a 20% decline last month to 2,469 units. The sales of Jaguar have been sagging in the U.S. amid weak demand for cars and a slow pace of adoption of its E-Pace models.

Most of the major U.S. automakers reported a small increase in sales in August amid rising consumer confidence and low level of unemployment. However, the demand for cars is likely to cool off in the second half of the year weighed by rising prices of vehicles and increasing interest rates.

Sales volumes of Land Rover surged 14% to 7,179 vehicles.

Meanwhile, sales in the U.K. reported a 66% jump to 3,444 units as the company nearly completed clearing of inventory, say analysts. Jaguar sales more than doubled to 1,242 units in the U.K. in August, while Land Rover reported a 46% surge, brokerage PhillipCapital said.

JLR has been grappling with declining sales in most European markets amid uncertainty over diesel vehicles. In July, it reported a 22% decline in global retail sales citing "transitional issues" in some markets.

The company's China demand was damped by the trade tensions with the U.S., while demand in Europe and the U.K. were hit by the tougher emission rules. In North America, JLR said it was letting go of some of the higher discounted business, and a delayed timeline for new model launches also hurt demand.

Mumbai-based Tata Motors had acquired the luxury automaker from Ford Motor in 2008 for $2.5 billion. JLR accounts for more than half of Tata Motors' total revenue and nearly 90% of its operating profit.

Tata Motors gained 1.3% in Mumbai trading, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex lost 0.4%.

--Dhanya Ann Thoppil

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