FRANKFURT (Reuters) — Jaguar Land Rover expects sales this year to exceed those of 2014, with the UK, Europe and the United States compensating for a sharp decline in the Chinese market, CEO Ralph Speth said on Tuesday.
Jaguar Land Rover sales are down 1 percent so far this year to 301,778, due to a 29 percent fall in China, the world’s largest car market, where an economic slowdown, stock market slump and currency devaluation have hit demand for cars.
But Speth said that sales will rise this year compared to the 462,678 models the firm sold in 2014, with other regions able to compensate for the fall.
“Other markets can neutralize… (such as) the UK, Europe and the U.S.,” he told journalists at the Frankfurt auto show.
“We expect that sales are definitely bigger in 2015 than 2014…but it would be too early to give you the exact number.”
China was Jaguar Land Rover’s fastest growing market last year, with sales up 28 percent, but volumes have fallen this year.
Speth said that Jaguar Land Rover would benefit from ramping up production in the country but that the “new normal” of slower growth in the Chinese market had come faster than anyone had predicted.
“The time of the two-digit growth is over. We will see a normalized figure of, let’s say, in between 4 and 7 percent, that depends on who is calculating it,” he said.
On Monday, Jaguar launched its first SUV, the F-Pace, the latest part of a major expansion of its model range as it enters an area that has become increasingly popular among women and families.