DETROIT – Jaguar Land Rover North America is pushing ahead with its multi-vehicle diesel strategy in the U.S., despite negative publicity surrounding the compression-ignition engines due to the Volkswagen emissions scandal, President and CEO Joe Eberhardt says.
Bouyed by strong initial response to its new diesel offerings in the U.S., the company sees no reason to change its plans to roll out diesel powerplants across its Range Rover lineup and to all Jaguar models except the F-Type sports car, Eberhardt tells members of the Automotive Press Assn. Wednesday in Detroit.
The Indian-owned British automaker received U.S. certification two weeks ago to begin selling V-6 turbodiesel-equipped versions of its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs and has sold 330 diesel variants since then, equaling a 16% take rate. The company hopes to achieve a 20% penetration on diesels going forward, Eberhardt says.
“We have set out our diesel strategy and we’re very confident in what we will bring to the market,” Eberhardt says. “We will not change it.”
Next up in JLR’s U.S. diesel portfolio are the additions of 2.0L turbodiesel I-4s in the Range Rover Discovery Sport and Evoque CUVs, as well as in the Jaguar XE and XF sedans, and the F-Pace CUV, all by the end of 2017. The Jaguar XJ luxury sedan also gets the turbodiesel, but on a later timeline.
Eberhardt says he expects the new Jaguar 2.0L “Ingenium” turbodiesel to meet all emissions requirements, but the vehicles are still too far from market launch to begin testing or to receive any notifications of additional testing requirements. In the wake of the VW emissions turmoil, the U.S. EPA has ordered General Motors to conduct on-road testing of its diesel ʼ16 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups to verify laboratory test results. GM says it is confident its trucks will meet emissions standards.
Overall, Eberhardt says he expects significant sales growth for Jaguar in the U.S., with the ̛17 XE and F-Pace more than doubling sales in their first full year of production, pushing the brand’s annual volume to more than 30,000 units.