Land Rover and Jaguar gained ground in the key US market in May, figures from parent group Ford showed last night .
Land Rover set another new record and saw its sales soar by 39 per cent to 3,981 last month. The sales charge was led by its two most expensive models, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which sold 1,067 and 1,360 respectively.
Range Rover was 34 per cent up on the month but no comparative figures are available for the Sport, which has been on sale in the US for less than a year.
Discovery 3, badged LR3 in America, was previously the key element in a line-up that has seen Land Rover's sales soar to unprecedented levels over the past 18 months. But some of the steam is disappearing, with LR3 sales down by 13 per cent to 1,549 in May.
So far this year, the Solihull 4x4 specialist has seen its sales increase by 32 per cent to 19,016.
In fact, Land Rover was a star performer for Ford's traditional sports utility vehicle division, whose total sales were 21 per cent adrift in May.
"We've seen an industry-wide decline in traditional sport utility vehiclwes and higher gas prices accelerated this decline," said Al Giombetti, head of marketing and sales at Ford.
Land Rover is faring better in the US than the likes of the truck-based Ford Explorer and Expedition SUVs because of the higher fuel efficiency figures of its cars.
Jaguar, like Land Rover part of Ford's European luxury Premier Automotive Group, saw further signs that the new XK sports car, which it builds at Castle Bromwich, is reviving its sales base.
Taking sales of the old XK into account, the model gained 187 per cent at 727 units in May and was 63 per cent ahead at 1,737 for the year so far.
It helped to peg Jaguar's overall sales dip to 12 per cent last month but the marque was still 34 per cent down over the first five months.