Speaking at a business briefing in the Midlands, JLR’s UK managing director Jeremy Hicks, forecast a continuing significant importance of diesel engines, which power 70 per cent of JLR’s UK sales, equivalent to around 70,000 new cars a year.
“I am not convinced that we’ll see a wholesale change away from diesel. And we are certainly not seeing any marked shift away from diesel today,’ said Hicks.
VW’s boss Paul Willis recently predicted a possible drop in the UK diesel mix to as low as 30 per cent, driven by air pollution worries. It is currently 55 per cent, a growing percentage driven by CO2-based road tax and company car taxation.
A bigger mix of diesels is also a by-product of JLR’s successful push to increase sales with fleet customers, whose buying decisions are driven strongly by CO2 figures.