Former Ford Luxury Brand Land Rover Tops 2015 Growth Chart

British brand Land Rover takes the crown as the marque that saw the largest percentage increase in sales in 2015, followed by Jeep and Volvo. Smart, Dodge, Jaguar, Fiat and Volkswagen saw the largest percentage declines.

Bob Gritzinger, Editor-in-Chief

January 7, 2016

3 Min Read
Land Roverrsquos allnew Discovery Sport powered brand to huge increase in 2015
Land Rover’s all-new Discovery Sport powered brand to huge increase in 2015.

Former Ford luxury brand Land Rover posted the largest percentage gain in sales in 2015, followed by Jeep and another former Ford marque, Volvo.

WardsAuto data pegs Land Rover’s U.S. sales growth at 37.1% in 2015 on sales of 70,582 vehicles, with Jeep and Volvo posting gains of 24.9% and 24.3%, respectively. Jeep sold 865,028 units while Volvo delivered 70,046 cars and utility vehicles.

Chris Marchand, Land Rover executive vice president-operations, says he didn’t predict the strong showing, but was pleasantly surprised as sales momentum began to build in the second half of the year.

“We had a very good 2015 – and then some,” says Marchand. “We’re the fastest growing brand in 2015.”

A stable economy and available low-interest credit lifted sales of all brands, but Marchand credits Land Rover’s unique luxury-utility-vehicle lineup and a major investment in product development with fueling the British marque’s strong growth.

Since 2011, parent company Tata has poured $5 billion into Jaguar Land Rover global product development to bring out the all-new Range Rover Evoque as well as completely updated versions of the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Land Rover Discovery Sport. Jaguar and Land Rover were acquired from Ford by India-based Tata in 2008.

Powertrain was a primary focus of that investment, resulting in a V6-biased engine family and the addition of turbodiesel engines, Marchand notes.

Looking ahead, Marchand says a full year of Discovery Sport and diesel sales should propel further gains in 2016, but he expects Jaguar to make a huge jump with the addition of the XE entry sports sedan and the F-PACE luxury CUV. Jaguar ended 2015 down 8.3%, WardsAuto data shows. Overall, Jaguar Land Rover ended the year up 26%.

Jeep, Volvo Vie for Second

Other significant gainers in 2015 were Jeep and Volvo. Jeep’s upward trajectory was powered by one older model, the Patriot, with a volume increase of 27%, and the relatively recent addition Cherokee, which saw a 23% increase. The Renegade, an all-new compact CUV launched in 2015, chipped in another 61,000 units.

Credit CUVs large and small for Volvo’s success in 2015, led by the all-new XC90 that was responsible for 18% of the Swedish automaker’s total volume of 70,046 for the year. The large 3-row XC90 has earned kudos from WardsAuto editors who named its turbocharged and supercharged 2.0L 4-cyl. engine a 2016 Wards 10 Best Engines winner. At the other end of the CUV spectrum, Volvo’s small XC60 posted a 35.6% increase in volume.

Close on the heels of Volvo and Jeep was Mitsubishi with a 22.8% spike in volume to 95,342 units.

The year’s worst performer was Smart with a 28.4% plunge in sales, followed by Dodge at 9.9%, aforementioned Jaguar at 8.3%, Fiat at 8% and Volkswagen at 4.8%.

Anomalies included boutique brands Alfa Romeo and Tesla. Fiat’s luxury brand grew a whopping 629% in volume in 2015 with the rollout of the Alfa Romeo 4C. Electric automaker Tesla jumped 55.8% to nearly 24,000 sales in 2015, according to WardsAuto estimates.

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About the Author(s)

Bob Gritzinger

Editor-in-Chief, WardsAuto

Bob Gritzinger is Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto and also covers Advanced Propulsion & Technology for Wards Intelligence.

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