The effects of the new wave of the ongoing semi-conductor chip shortage have started showing on the supply chain of every company. Except if you’re Apple Inc. For some reason, Apple almost never has any of these crisis situations when the entirety of its competition literally suffers. Anyway, the automotive industry was trying to recover from the global slowdown of 2020 due to the Covid pandemic when a fresh chip scarcity hit it again. And its latest victim is Jaguar Land Rover’s Defender.
The Defender has always been an extremely popular model from the JLR’s stable in all its avatars, and in its new modern futuristic look, the demand is higher than ever. And why not? It is much dearer than the G-Class from Mercedes and has the off-roading capabilities of a Land Rover Defender! Speaking to investors at the company’s latest quarterly earnings announcement, JLR’s CFO Adrian Mardell revealed that the Defender waiting period is almost 12 months long. Most of the backed-up orders are from consumers in mainland Europe and the company’s home market i.e. UK. Wait… shouldn’t the home market be India?
“We won’t yet know the scale of impact from the semiconductor challenges. The order bank for the Defender is now above 20,000 and retail sales for the vehicle are approaching 7000 a month, which is up from the predicted 5 000 units,” Mardell reported.
“Expect those order books to normalize in 6, 9- or 12-months’ time,” Mardell further added.
When Defender first went on sale in April 2020, the orders stood around 8,000, according to Land Rover’s official figures. The company has sold 45,244 Defenders within the current financial year.
The automaker has a total backlog of nearly 100,000 orders when the demand for plug-in hybrid variants of other models are also accounted for.
“There is particular emphasis on plug-in hybrids. They have had a dramatic impact on our market,” Mardell explained. “Some of those have a 12-month waiting list so clearly those customers are going to have to be super patient with us.”
Mardell did not expand on the plug-in hybrid production issues, but the company confirmed that it had paused sales of its Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e plug-in models last October over issues with their stated CO2 output.
Land Rover’s plug-in hybrids are also highly sought after, especially in Europe, due to the tax benefits on electric vehicles. PHEV sales reached 7.3 percent of total global JLR sales last quarter. The new all-electric cub from Jaguar’s den, the i-Pace is also doing quite well, accounting for 1.8 percent of the sales for the same period.
JLR recently scrapped much of the old projects under new CEO, Thierry Bolloré, which now aims to transform Jaguar into an all-EV brand by 2025.