MUMBAI -- Jaguar and Land Rover owner Tata Motors had its biggest gain in 18 months after August sales at Land Rover increased at the fastest pace in more than a year.
Tata Motors gained 7 percent to 161.85 rupees (2.48 euros) at the close of the stock exchange here, the steepest gain since March 2, 2010. The stock has tumbled 38 percent this year, falling as much as 6.2 percent on Sept. 12 after CEO Carl-Peter Forster, who helped the Jaguar Land Rover unit return to profit in the year ended March 31, resigned Sept. 9.
Land Rover deliveries have increased every month since November 2009, when Tata Motors started reporting its monthly global sales. Land Rover has helped counter waning demand for Jaguar and the Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car.
Land Rover began delivering the Range Rover Evoque compact SUV on Sept. 9 and plans to introduce a new Defender model in 2015.
"Sales have been very good especially in emerging markets, where people prefer luxury sports utility vehicles over sedans," said Umesh Karne, a Mumbai-based analyst with Brics Securities Ltd. "Next month too, sales will increase as the deliveries of the Evoque have started."
Global sales of trucks and buses rose 17 percent to 48,023 vehicles in August, the company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday after markets closed.
Jaguar Land Rover sales rose 31 percent to 21,242 vehicles, propelled by a 43 percent increase in Land Rover deliveries, the fastest pace since May 2010. The Jaguar Land Rover unit, based in Gaydon, England, generated 57 percent of Tata Motors' revenue for the year ended March 31, up from 53 percent a year earlier.
Jaguar aims to challenge BMW with a hybrid supercar and an entry-level sedan to compete with the 3 series. The new models are part of Tata's plans to invest 1.5 billion pounds (1.7 billion euros) annually in product development at Jaguar and Land Rover over the next five years.