Europe’s Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands epitomize Swedish and British tradition. But their futures appear starkly different.
Geely-owned Volvo’s trajectory is swinging upward. The Swedish automaker sold more vehicles in the U.S. auto market last year than it has since 2006, with deliveries up 10 percent. And despite the chaos wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic, Volvo ended the first half of the year down only 14 percent, compared with a 22 percent decline for the overall luxury segment.
Prospects look less certain for Jaguar Land Rover, once a cash cow for parent Tata Motors. The market shift away from sports sedans and sports cars to crossovers and SUVs has left Jaguar struggling for traction. Land Rover, on the other hand, remains the industry’s only manufacturer of solely premium SUVs, and sales were strong until this year.
The coronavirus market disruption is the latest setback for JLR; U.S. sales slumped 23 percent in the first half. To conserve cash, some models have been killed or delayed.