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Jaguar Land Rover hits record sales

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The UK’s largest carmaker says it hit record sales in 2017 even with the first drop in six years in demand for new cars across Britain.

According to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), 178,601 Jaguars were sold last year, which is a rise of 20% from the year before. Land Rover sales grew 2% to 442,508. Sales have more than tripled since 2009 and this news marks the seventh successive year of growth.

This is even more remarkable given the decline in demand for new cars across the UK in 2017, the first drop in over half a decade.

China was the most important region for the company, with sales reaching 146,399, up 23% year-on-year. This, along with growing demand in the US, has provided a safety net against the uncertainty of the UK’s position in the EU and Brexit.

JLR’s Sales Director, Andy Goss, said that though sales targets were delivered, the company still “[faces] tough times in key markets such as the UK”, particularly given the tax hit on diesel.

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Jaguar launches I-Pace one-make racing series

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Luxury carmaker Jaguar has announced a one-make racing series based around its electric I-Pace sports car, with the first race taking place next year.

The series, known as the I-Pace eTrophy, will use an ‘arrive and drive’ format for 20 drivers at each race with full technical support, spare parts and equipment. The modified electric I-Paces will use technology from the manufacturer’s I-Pace SUV, which will go on sale later this year.

“With 20 identical specification production based I-Pace eTrophy race cars going head to head, it comes down to the drivers and their individual driving styles to be crowned champion,” the company said. “Held over ten races and in some of the world’s most celebrated cities, the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy promises to be the next chapter in our Race To Innovate.”

The new series will appear on the supporting bill of the all-electric Formula E world championship, which Jaguar Racing joined in 2016. The company recently announced that all its new road cars will be electric or hybrid from 2020 onwards.

“Jaguar returned to racing in 2016 with the mission ‘Race to Innovate’,” explained Gerd Mäuser, Jaguar Racing chairman. “With the launch of the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy, we’ve strengthened our commitment to battery electric vehicles, international motorsport and Formula E. As a British team, we’re proud to announce today the launch of the world’s first production battery electric vehicle championship. We’ve always said we want to prove our electrification technologies on the track – this is the proof.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a full grid of Jaguar I-Pace race cars in late 2018, soon after the first Jaguar I-Pace hits the road in Europe. Ultimately, this innovative series will enhance the technology in our future electric vehicles and benefit our customers. Formula E has grown exponentially since we joined as the first premium manufacturer last year, with recent commitments from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche,” he said.