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Britain's Jaguar Land Rover taps global markets for record sales

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[January 13, 2014]  By Tommy Wilkes

LONDON (Reuters)  British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover sold a record volume of vehicles last year, when rising demand in markets such as Brazil, China, India and the United States helped it boost sales by sales by 19 percent.

The strong performance highlights the resurgence of the car manufacturing industry in Britain since the 2008 financial crisis, with most of the new cars sold abroad.

The company, which is owned by India's Tata Motors <TAMO.NS>, said it sold 425,006 vehicles in 2013, with new sales records set in 38 of its international markets.

Sales of Jaguar rose the fastest, up 42 percent on the previous year, while Land Rover volumes rose 15 percent to 348,338 vehicles, the firm said in a statement on Sunday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders last week predicted that British car production will exceed the peak of 1.72 million cars reached in 1972 by 2017. Production data for 2013 are due on January 23, and will likely exceed 1.5 million for the first time in six years.

Luxury car makers are among the manufacturers enjoying the strongest levels of growth.

Last week Rolls Royce said it had hit its fourth straight annual sales record in 2013, driven largely by demand for personalized vehicles from the super-rich in Asia and the Middle East, while Bentley Motors, another high-end British brand, also reported record sales.

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Jaguar Land Rover, which generates around 85 percent of its revenues from exports, reported strong growth in all major regions, led by 30 percent growth in Asia Pacific and the China region, 21 percent in North America and 14 percent in the UK.

(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; editing by Ruth Pitchford)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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