The steering wheel of a Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc I-Pace electric vehicle (EV) is seen during the 2018 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Michael Noble Jr./Bloomberg)

Jaguar Land Rover Counts on New Models, China After Posting Loss

(Bloomberg) -- Jaguar Land Rover is counting on demand for its new models and an increase in sales in China to help the unit of Tata Motors Ltd. rebound from a quarterly loss.

“We expect sales and financial results to improve over the remainder of the financial year, driven by continued ramp-up of new models, most recently the electric Jaguar I-Pace, and with the new lower duties effective in China,” JLR CEO Ralf Speth said in a statement Tuesday. The order book for the I-Pace electric crossover is ballooning, Tata Motors Group Chief Financial Officer P.B. Balaji said on a conference call.

The optimism comes after the luxury unit of the Indian automaker reported a loss of 210 million pounds ($276 million) in the quarter through June, as it raised incentives in China ahead of a reduction in import duties. Demand in Europe, one of its key markets, waned amid uncertainty over diesel vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover has also posted higher sales of its new E-Pace compact SUV and the Range Rover Velar, helping offset drop in deliveries of some model such as Discovery Sport.

China lowered import duties on vehicles to 10 percent from 25 percent starting July 1. The company offered higher incentives in China ahead of this reduction to spur sales.

The luxury carmaker was also impacted “negatively by uncertainty over diesels in Europe along with Brexit and additional diesel taxes in U.K.,” Speth said.

The company is looking to cut costs by standardizing manufacturing platforms to build a wider range of vehicles and open a new plant in Slovakia later this year, the JLR spokeswoman said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.