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Jaguar Land Rover defends SUV import lead from Porsche, Lamborghini

Cons. Discr. - Autos 983 Tariffs 1680 U.S. 4753

Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission under Section 337. JLR alleges that imports of control systems and four wheel drive vehicles by Porsche and Lamborghini, controlled by the Volkswagen group, infringe on JLR’s intellectual property. 

Even though car sales have mostly recovered in aggregate, as discussed in Panjiva research of Nov. 10, luxury car companies are likely facing greater pressure than economy brands, which can usually be approximated by the size of the engine. 

Panjiva’s data shows that imports of vehicles with engines of 1 liter capacity or below increased by 34.7% year over year in Q3’20, while vehicles with engines between 1 liter and 1.5 liters saw a small decline of 3.3% year over year in the same period. 

Imported vehicles with larger engines fared worse, with the 1.5 liter to 3 liter category seeing Q3 imports decline by 23.5% year over year, while engines above 3 liters, representing mostly truck and high end performance vehicles such as JLR, Porsche and Lamborghini, declined by 8.5% year over year in the same period. 

Small engines accelerate in Q3

Chart segments imports of automobiles and light trucks to the U.S. by engine size.   Source: Panjiva 

Jaguar Land Rover has likely done worse than average, with U.S. seaborne imports linked to the firm having declined by 18.2% year over year in October after a 39.0% slide in Q3’20. That comes even as the firm is launching its new Defender model and may be a motivator for the firm’s ITC filing.

Porsche and Lamborghini have entered the SUV segment with their Cayenne / Macan (Porsche) and Urus (Lamborghini) models and may be doing better recently. While shipments dropped by 18.0% year over year in Q3’20 they’ve since improved by 57.3% in October.

Porsche, Lamborghini have smoother ride than JLR during pandemic

Chart segments imports of SUV models associated with Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche, and Lamborghini on a month and three month average basis.   Source: Panjiva 

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