Jaguar Land Rover struggles to meet demand for new Defender, plug-in hybrids

LONDON — Jaguar Land Rover is sitting on an order bank of almost 100,000 vehicles as it struggles to meet demand for the new Land Rover Defender off-roader and plug-in hybrid versions of its vehicles amid microchip shortages.

The waiting list for some plug-in hybrid models is approaching 12 months, Jaguar Land Rover CFO Adrian Mardell told investors on Tuesday when the company announced its latest quarterly earnings.

“It’s the result of the supply side,” Mardell said, citing the semiconductor shortage and issues around manufacturing plug-in hybrids. “Expect those order books to normalize in six, nine- or 12-months’ time,” he said.

Most of the backed-up orders were from mainland Europe and the company’s UK home market, Mardell said.

JLR CEO Thierry Bollore said the company lost production of 7,000 units because of the semiconductor shortage in the company’s latest quarter that ended March 30.

The company gave no guidance on how the shortage would affect production for the next financial year.

Mardell said: “We won’t yet know the scale of impact from the semiconductor challenges.”

The order bank for the Defender is now above 20,000, he said. Retail sales for the vehicle are approaching 7,000 a month, up from the predicted 5,000, he told investors.The order bank when the Defender first went on sale in April last year stood around 8,000, JLR figures show. The company sold 45,244 of the Defender in the financial year.

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