Jaguar Land Rover probably knew it had a hit on its hands with the new Range Rover Evoque, but its success is likely exceeding the company's expectations, and is proving a big contributor to parent company Tata Motors' better-than-expected first-quarter profits, reports Bloomberg. Net quarterly income was $1.1 billion compared with analysts' expectation of $686 million in income.
Demand for the new premium compact SUV is so strong that there is a three-month waiting list in many of Land Rover's markets, which is prompting the company to run its Halewood, England, plant on a three-shift, 24-hour schedule. Demand for the new model is strongest in China and Russia, helping to offset weak European demand.
Tata recently reached a verbal agreement with Chinese automaker Chery for production of luxury models in China. The factory will have an annual production capacity of 130,000 units, but it's unknown what models will be built at the plant at this point.
Global sales for the Jaguar Land Rover division rose 29 percent to 314,433 vehicles for the 12 months ending March 31. Land Rover SUV models accounted for 80 percent of that figure.