Jaguar Land Rover’s thriving business is proof that foreign ownership need not be feared. The Tata-owned British company has had its best ever sales in a full year in 2016, when it sold 583,313 vehicles, up 20% from 2015. It also marked a seventh successive year of growth, and 2016 figures are almost triple 2009’s.

The final month in the year contributed greatly to the final tally. Sales in December were up 12% year-on-year with 55,375 units. In China, December sales were up 36%, the strongest ever monthly performance on record.

Europe is still JLR’s biggest sales region, with 138,695 units in 2016, up 26% y-o-y. In its home market of UK, the two brands sold a combined 117,571 units (up 17%), the best ever on record. Sales were up 31% in China and 25% in North America.

“This has been a significant year for JLR, with updated models being introduced across the range, as well as the completely new Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Jaguar F-Pace (both were launched here last year as well, click on the links for more). It is particularly pleasing to see the Jaguar brand setting impressive new sales records,” said Andy Goss, JLR group sales operations director.

“Customer response has been very positive, resulting in record retails across most of our key regions. These results mark significant steps in JLR’s strategy to become a truly global business and meet the growing international demand for its two iconic brands. I’m confident that in 2017 our British line-up will continue to expand and delight in markets across the world,” he added.

Zooming in, the Jaguar brand achieved 77% higher sales in 2016, with 148,730 vehicles sold. It’s the best ever showing by Jaguar, driven by sales of the its first SUV, the F-Pace, and the XE and XF saloons. The trio propelled the leaping cat to be the fastest growing premium brand in the US, outpacing the industry by 116%.

Land Rover sold 434,583 vehicles in 2016, up 8%. The best-seller for the year was the Discovery Sport with 122,460 units.

It was also a significant year for the expansion of the company’s manufacturing footprint to support continued growth, with construction beginning on the first British manufacturing facility in Slovakia, and the opening of the company’s new factory in Itatiaia, Brazil. Jaguar also introduced the XF L, the first model developed exclusively for Chinese customers, last year.

GALLERY: Jaguar F-Pace


GALLERY: Land Rover Discovery Sport