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Report: Quality Issues Plague JLR in China

Jaguar Land Rover Ltd.’s sagging sales in China are rooted in chronic and accelerating quality control issues, says Automotive News Europe.
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Jaguar Land Rover Ltd.’s sagging sales in China are rooted in chronic and accelerating quality control issues, says Automotive News Europe.

Last year, JLR sales in China plunged 22% to 115,000 units, defying an 8% increase in volume for the luxury vehicle segment overall. The callbacks covered a wide range of complaints ranging from engines to instrument panels.

ANE says the wave of recalls sullied JLR’s already poor quality image. Its report contains no comment from the company.

The online newspaper notes that JLR has consistently ranked low on J.D. Power dependability studies in the U.S. and China.

Earlier this week JLR’s Land Rover and Jaguar brands ranked second-worst and seventh-worst, respectively in a field of 31 brands assessed by Power’s 2019 study of the U.S. market. Land Rover owners reported more than twice the number of defects per 100 units as did owners of the market’s top-rated Lexus brand. Jaguar owners reported 60% more defects than Lexus.

JLR’s quality problems in China accelerated in 2014, when the company began locally assembling vehicles, according to the newspaper. It says JLR also allowed partner Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. to modify the models it built to suit local tastes.

Local production avoided China’s import tariffs and helped JLR hike sales there by 58% to 146,400 units between 2015 and 2017. But ANE says customer complaints also climbed sharply. The newspaper notes that owners have held frequent protests over the past six months at JLR’s Shanghai headquarters regarding claimed quality problems.

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