With the UK's average CO2 emissions increasing by 1g/km last year, Andy Goss warns on the impact of falling diesel sales
Mark Tisshaw
8 January 2018

A rise in average CO2 emissions from falling diesel car sales will soon become a big, prominent issue the car industry will have to deal with. 

That's according to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) group sales operations director Andy Goss, who said the rise in CO2 emissions was inevitable in the short term as buyers were turned off by diesel and went back to petrol instead, in lieu of a market full of plug-in hybrid and electric alternatives. 

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Indeed, in 2017, average CO2 emissions rose by 1g/km in the UK, the first increase since records began in 2002, as buyers turned away from the black pump due to the bad press and punitive tax changes made by the Government to put people off the fuel. 

"The CO2 issue is not very well articulated at this stage," said Goss, who was announcing JLR's record annual results for new car sales in 2017. "It needs to be. We need a balance on this, and we will try and articulate it ourselves.

"The CO2 agenda has not gone away. It's not just about CO2 or NOx – each is an agenda. All manufacturers are investing in electrification; it's in all interests to navigate a glide path together."

Goss said that the switch away from diesel was not currently impacting on any of JLR's future investment plans, because its new range of four-cylinder Diesel engines were part of the wider Ingenium family, with flexible production at the firm's Wolverhampton engine plant. However, it did cast long-term doubts over the future of the fuel. 

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"It's not affecting future investments," said Goss. "With Ingenium engines, we can flip-flop between the two. Is there a way back for diesel? That's impossible to answer, but fiscal policy is only going in one direction. That brings CO2 awareness - in a move to petrol, CO2 emissions go up. It's a worry."

Goss is confident JLR can still meet its EU-mandated target for average CO2 emissions of new cars sold in the EU, believed to be around 130g/km. But he said the sharp, unexpected switch away from diesel "provided an extra challenge to hit the target".

Diesel sales in the UK are likely to take yet another hit from April, when taxation will increase unless they meet a certain certification standard – the test for which doesn't even exist yet.

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"It's difficult to fathom the latest decision in the budget," said Goss on the government's plans. "I'm not saying it's short-termism, but without other things in place like scrappage, it's difficult to see an end-to-end decision process."

Goss said he was broadly happy that the government worked with JLR and the industry, but wanted to see a more "hand-in-glove approach with policy".

"We employ 40,000 people in the UK, and our suppliers many more. We're investing billions in technology while exporting 80% of what we make. It's of huge benefit to the economy. We expect a hand-in-glove approach with policy so that there are no surprises. Planning takes huge time and investment, so it's a sensible request, really. It's not a manufacturing issue, but it's another challenge on top of other ones - so why now?"

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Comments
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289

8 January 2018

I really couldnt care less about a (relatively) small increase in a naturally occurring gas.

I AM concerned about diesel particulates caused by people buying large numbers of diesel engined cars either because the cost of petrol is so high through Governmental tax take greed, or/and encouraging buyers into diesels through misguided initiatives whilst ignoring industry expert advice!

As far as JLR sending out warnings....well, they would say that wouldnt they? They have a heavily Diesel biased range!

8 January 2018

CO2 is a real issue. If you are complacent about this 'naturally occurring gas' maybe you should read some science on the subject? 

 

Perhaps consumers should think about whether they really need an SUV to travel between their suburban semi and the shopping centre? Swapping the diesel SUV for a petrol hatch or estate won't raise emissions but will improve local air quality.

8 January 2018
289 wrote:

I really couldn't care less about a (relatively) small increase in a naturally occurring gas.

Couldn't care less about the ozone layer? CO2 produced by engines is natural? You're not related to Donald Trump by any chance?

8 January 2018

289, I take it you wouldnt have treatment for cancer which is "naturally occuring" then ?

XXXX just went POP.

289

8 January 2018

.....Oh please. Dont try to be obtuse.

Stick to subject.

According to all these so called 'experts' and doom mongers who told us that the hole in the ozone layer was increasing and totally manmade (something they could never actually know unless they were around running the same tests a couple of million years ago), now they are saying that the hole has drastically reduced !

8 January 2018

Please do research. Ozone layer depletion is not due to CO2 levels. It is caused by ozone-depleting substances that have been made illegal for many years already. Substances such as CFCs.

This is the problem with forums and comment sections--few know what they are talking about.

8 January 2018

Petrol is just as bad as diesel as the new small high compression petrol are supposed to be worse than diesel in the particulates field according to autocar in arepoet a few weeks ago.

 

8 January 2018

is that without a scrappage scheme for the older diesels, the shift in policy does very little to reduce diesel particulates.

8 January 2018
Hedonist wrote:

is that without a scrappage scheme for the older diesels, the shift in policy does very little to reduce diesel particulates.

 

Todays new diesels are tomorrow's bangers. I am already horrified by the number of ageing diesel SUVs bouncing around my city (many with dpf deliberately and illegally removed) and it's only going to get worse. Reducing the number of these on our roads will represent progress. Scrappage schemes obviously accelerate the removal of old cars but many get scrapped every year anyhow.

8 January 2018

But let the idiots who have wood burning stoves/coal fires and the 10,000s of 1000s of totally unnecessary bonfires on bonfire night, all of which release billions of tons of particulates into the atmosphere - far more than diesel vehicles, continue. Yeah, thanks for that, your contribution, like the governnebts, is knee jerk and made with very little thought or logic.

XXXX just went POP.

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