JLR said sales in China “were particularly encouraging”, up 20.2% on the prior quarter and +19.1% year-on-year. Retail sales in most other regions also continued to recover in the fourth quarter of 2020 and are reported to have significantly increased on the prior quarter in North America (+31.7%), overseas (+26.6%) and Europe (+20.5%). However, JLR said that sales in these regions have not yet recovered to pre-Covid levels, with sales for the quarter lower than a year ago in North America (-17.2%), overseas (-20.0%), Europe (-16.3%) and the UK (-8.9%).

For full 2020, JLR retail sales amounted to 425,974 units, down 23.6% on 2019, reflecting the industry impact of Covid-19, particularly in the first half of the year when plants were shut down for more than two months. However, the company has since seen sales increase quarter-on-quarter by over 53% in the quarter ended September 30, followed by the 13.1% increase in the last quarter of 2020.

JLR said it remains committed to its electrification strategy and has a growing portfolio of electrified vehicles, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and mild hybrid (MHEV) vehicles, as well as continuing to offer the latest diesel and petrol engines. The Groups’ electrified options now extend to 12 models across the Jaguar and Land Rover portfolios, with PHEV available on eight vehicle lines and MHEV on 11, as well as the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE. With sales of new electrified vehicles including the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque PHEVs ramping up through the October to December quarter, a total of 53% of the company’s retail sales for the three-month period were electrified. This included 6.1% all-electric, 5.5% PHEV and 41.4% MHEV. This brings the share of electrification to 43.3% of the company’s sales for 2020.