Record Profits Expected At Jaguar Land Rover

Car maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is set to announce record sales and profits tomorrow, driven by its Halewood-built “baby” Range Rover Evoque.

According to weekend reports, the company will unveil a pre-tax profit of up to £1.6bn for the year to the end of March, which is up 36% from £1.1bn in the previous year.

The company sold 243,621 cars in the year to March 2011, but sources claim the manufacturer will reveal a hefty increase in sales of about 314,000 cars this year.

The previous record was 292,000 in 2007.

In March the company announced its best ever month, with 45,000 cars sold, and it is believed JLR's aim is to produce 500,000 vehicles a year.

Halewood, which is recruiting 1,000 extra staff to turn the plant into a 24-hour manufacturing operation employing 4,500, makes the New Freelander 2 4x4 car and the Range Rover Evoque 4x4, which was launched last July and is set to become the company's best selling model.

So many orders have been received for the Evoque that JLR is setting up a separate components warehouse in Ellesmere Port, leading to 300 new jobs, aimed at supplying Halewood's busy production line.

Much of the plant's Evoque production is destined for export, with China, Russia and India fast becoming JLR's biggest sales markets.

Report claim that JLR owner, Indian conglomerate Tata, could announce tomorrow that China is now a bigger market than the UK for its vehicles.

The firm is in talks with Chinese car maker Chery over plans to build vehicles there for the domestic market.