By on January 30, 2020

Image: JLR

As Jaguar Land Rover lunges forward with its “Project Charge” turnaround plan, things aren’t nearly as grim as they were a year ago. Which is exactly what the automaker’s parent, Tata Motors, wants to hear.

Despite a softening in global sales, the automaker made progress on many fronts, crediting its cost-cutting and product plan with a return to black ink.

The final quarter of 2019 saw JLR turn in $416 in pre-tax profit — a stark change from Q4 2018, when the automaker reported an operating loss of $357 million. Revenue rose 2.8 percent for the quarter despite a sales decline of 2.3 percent.

All of this should put a smile on the face of Tata, which made clear last year that it wanted to see change in the company. The automaker’s parent company even talked up the idea of finding a partner for JLR.

The automaker credits a rebound in Chinese sales, coupled with a resurgence in interest for certain low-end crossovers, for the showing. The Chinese bounce was no small thing, either. Deliveries in that market, which sank 22 percent in 2018, rose over 24 percent in Q4 2019, with the United States seeing an 11-percent gain.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace – Image: Jaguar

Globally, the revamped Range Rover Evoque earned a 30-percent increase in sales. The Land Rover Discovery Sport saw its fortunes rise 9.2 percent. Compounding the effect of these two products was growth in sales of the Discovery and Range Rover Sport.

With the cost savings realized under Project Charge resulting in a better balance sheet, JLR plans move into the second phase of the turnaround plan.

“The company’s Project Charge transformation programme reduced operating costs by £154 million, investment by £200 million, and inventories by £405m in the quarter.  This brings the total cost and cashflow improvements to £2.9 billion, exceeding the £2.5 billion target three months ahead of schedule,” the automaker said in a release.

“The company has now embarked on ‘Project Charge +’, the next phase of Project Charge, which will primarily target cost savings and deliver a further £1.1 billion of cost and cashflow improvements for a total of £4 billion of improvements by March 2021.”

In the U.S., JLR closed out the year with record sales, despite a cratering of the passenger car market. Regardless of that, the Jaguar brand managed to eke out a 2-percent sales gain in 2019, helped along by added volume from the E-Pace compact crossover, while Land Rover posted a 3-percent hike.

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

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7 Comments on “Jaguar Land Rover’s Grades Should Make the Parents Happy...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I don’t care how much money they’re making – is their quality improving?

  • avatar
    ccc555

    Everyone always talks about is Land Rover’s perceived lack of reliability. I have a ‘15 LR4 that we’ve had for 3 years and has around 70k on the odometer. It has been trouble free so far. I did find a local mechanic who specializes in Land Rovers and does the maintenance for like 50% of what the dealer would charge and the vehicle is warrantied to 100k. Knock on wood, I hope it continues to be trouble free. Other than a poor nav/tech system (even for 2015) the truck has been good to us. They’re kind of oddly cool looking, drive well and can go anywhere so I hope they turn it around especially with the new defender (tho I’m more interested in the new bronco bc of the convertible-ability).

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      I’ve owned two Land Rovers and currently own a Jeep. None of them are known for reliability, yet I’ve never had an issue with any of them. Don’t focus too much on reliability rankings because even the bottom ranking vehicles tend to be very good overall and the majority of them will run trouble-free for years.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Cost savings Program Announcement.

    Shouldnt all firms always engage in cost reduction at all times.

    HUH???

  • avatar
    detlump

    Recently leased a new Disco Sport for the wife. It has been very good so far, no issues at all after several months of driving (but I expect that for a new car). I received a lengthy survey from JLR that was very detailed, and filled it out. Also have received several other emails asking about the vehicle experience.

    So far so good. One thing I don’t like is the starting process, the idle is rather high for about 30 seconds and during that time it is not possible to shift gears to reverse or drive. I find that annoying. If I had to move the car urgently I wouldn’t be able to. No other car I have driven requires this waiting period. It may be due to direct injection – not sure. Some of the survey questions seemed to hint at that.

    Also not a fan of the rotary gear dial, I noticed that the 2020 DS has a lever.

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      Interesting to hear bout the reverse / drive lock-out during the high revs on start-up. I agree that it is likely related to DI.

      I have a gen-2 CTS with the first implementation of GM’s 3.6 DI engine, and it has similar high-rev behavior on start-up (mostly on cold starts). GM said it’s for emissions reasons. I guess people found the high-rev start-up excessive (and loud), so they made it less intense on later implementations of the engine.

      On my vehicle, while the engine is reving high on a cold start, you can shift into reverse or park, but you need to be careful doing so, because the car will take off forwards or backwards at those high revs. Would not be surprised to hear if many people went though their garage walls (forward) or had parking lot mishaps after slamming into reverse at high revs.

      Probably made sense for JLR to just lock out movement, especially given the fact that LR drivers seem especially “distracted” (your wife excluded, of course).

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    Did a word get missed? Should that be a profit of $416 million, not $416?

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