Jaguar Land Rover expects "positive" 2013 in UK

LONDON Mon Jan 7, 2013 4:39pm IST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Premium automaker Jaguar Land Rover said UK vehicle sales rose 19.7 percent in 2012 and new launches meant its outlook for 2013 was "positive".

JLR, owned by Tata Motors (TAMO.NS), sold 68,586 cars last year in the UK, where overall demand for cars is stronger than in other major markets in debt crisis-hit Europe.

The Land Rover brand notched up its best-ever sales year in the UK, the company said, with sales rising almost 25 percent to 54,480 vehicles, boosted by the first full sales year for the Range Rover Evoque sports utility vehicle (SUV).

Registrations of the luxury Jaguar brand increased 2.4 percent to 14,105 vehicles, despite "increasingly competitive market conditions", the company said, helped by a 10 percent rise in sales of the revised Jaguar XF saloon.

"It's a positive 2013 outlook for Jaguar in the UK with a full year of XF Sportbrake sales, the launch of the XFR-S saloon and the highly anticipated F-TYPE two-seater sports car," JLR said in a statement.

Overall new UK car registrations rose 3.7 percent year-on-year in December, industry body SMMT said on Monday, predicting demand would "hold firm" in 2013.

The forecast contrasts with gloomier 2013 outlooks for other major European car markets. The December rise follows a 11.3 percent increase in November, when Britain bucked the downward trend elsewhere in Europe, where economic gloom is keeping drivers away from showrooms.

(Reporting by Helen Massy-Beresford; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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