China largest market for JLR

Mumbai, Jan 14 (IANS) China has emerged as the largest market for cars manufactured by Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which notched a record increase of 30 percent in global sales, the company said in a statement here Monday.

JLR sold a total of 367,773 vehicles in 177 markets around the world in 2012, with Land Rover accounting for 36 percent increase and Jaguar up by six percent in sales.

China is now JLR's largest market accounting for 71,940 vehicles, up 71 percent over the previous year. British automobile company JLR is owned by Tata Motors of India.

It is followed by Britain with 68,333 vehicles - a 19 percent increase, US with 55,675 - a 11 percent increase.

Russia with 20,549, or 43 percent increase, and Germany with 16,722 vehicles sold, or 41 percent, ranked next in the list.

"We have sold more vehicles this year than ever before in our 65-year history. Our updated model line-up and the debut of the new Range Rover have created a real buzz around the brand with customers clearly delighted with our offerings," said company's global brand director John Edwards.

The Land Rover delivered a record performance with a 24 percent increase in sales in Britain while the Range Rover Evoque model topped the 100,000 sales figure.

"2012 has been a strong year for JLR with record breaking sales performances globally. All our key markets saw strong progress with demand for our premium vehicles setting new records in a very competitive environment," JLR director, group sales operations, Phil Popham said.

JLR also announced that it would create around 800 new jobs at its $600 million manufacturing facility in Solihull, Britain, to support the introduction of new model programmes in 2013.

In the past couple of years, JLR launched its most ambitious recruitment drive by hiring 8,000 people and presently employs 25,000 people worldwide.

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