Jaguar, Land Rover defy new car sales slump

The latest figures from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders show 12 months of successive growth has slowed, and nearly all manufacturers saw a decrease in registrations compared to the same month in 2009.

In total, new car registrations fell by 13.2 per cent in July but remains 15 per cent up compared to the first seven months of 2009.

"A drop in private registrations compared to the scrappage-fuelled months of 2009 was expected and has brought the first market decline for 12 months," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

"Subdued consumer confidence and a still fragile economic recovery make the outlook for the remainder of 2010 challenging, but a stronger than expected first half means full year volumes are still forecast to exceed 2009’s total."

However, the launch of the new Jaguar XJ has continued to improve sales for the Big Cat. In total new Jaguar registrations increased by 13.55 per cent in July, one of the few manufacturers to boast any increase at all.

Meanwhile, fellow Tata Motors-owned manufacturer Land Rover experienced a remarkable 55.06 per cent increase in new car registrations in July.

The success is largely down to Land Rover’s best-selling model, the Freelander 2. Over 900 Freelanders were sold in July, making up a large proportion of the 2.789 vehicles sold in total in the month.

The Discovery 4 also capped off a month in which it was named Best Large SUV at the Auto Express Car of the Year Awards 2010 with a sales increase of 89 per cent compared to the same month last year.

While luxury manufacturers flourished in July, several volume manufacturers have seen a decline in sales – a trend highlighted by the SMMT since the ending of the scrappage scheme.

However, Renault has continued to increase new car registrations thanks to the new Megane Coupe Cabriolet and limited edition models such as the Clio 20th anniversary edition and Clio Gordini being released this year.

Seat also increased new car registrations by a modest 7.37 per cent after strong fleet sales in the past month and the introduction of the Seat Leon Cupra R hot hatch in the UK.