Here we go again… ‘Jaguar Land Rover to make only electric or hybrid cars by 2020’ is what you’ll read on Sky News. The Guardian headline uses exactly the same words, only swapping ‘by’ for ‘from’ at the end. ‘New Jaguar models to be electric in 2020’ is what your £147 tax gets you this year over at the BBC.
Just as we saw with Volvo a couple of months ago, a clever piece of PR from JLR has been swallowed by a mainstream media and resulted in some misinformed headlines and stories.
For most, their motoring news will go no further than reading that headline on a homepage, or on a social media feed. To them, Jaguar Land Rover will soon only be a maker of electric cars, just as Volvo will be. They won’t.
In fact, JLR’s announcement is even less significant than Volvo’s, as details omitted from the vague press release reveal that it’s making its electrified technology optional, while every Volvo will at least be a 48V mild hybrid.
Honda announced pretty much the exact same thing as JLR the other day, yet did a much better and fairer job at explaining the detail, the consequence being it missed out on its procession and back slapping on Fleet Street.
Of course, this doesn’t take away from the fact that JLR’s announcement is good news for the company and the UK car industry. The firm has lagged behind its rivals so far in electrified technology, particularly around hybrids, but it will get to a big, usable electric car ahead of everyone other than Tesla next year with the launch of the Jaguar I-Pace. That’s something much better to shout about.