JAGUAR Land Rover is urging the UK government to take a “balanced view” on diesel engines which currently outsell the company’s petrol models.
JLR UK managing director, Rawdon Glover said: “There can’t be a binary approach to diesel – good or bad – it has to be looked at in terms of CO2 and fuel economy.
“Certainly with Land Rover and Range Rover models, big vehicles are much better suited to diesel. What we would like to see is a different tax approach, particularly in terms of benefit in kind company car tax.”
Glover does believe that the worst might be over and that diesel sales are coming back. JLR’s diesel numbers are only 1% down year on year. He added: “We certainly see a good future for diesel in the near and medium term – but we do see the future as electric.
“It will take time for electrification to really take off and one barrier currently is that there are only 650 charging points in the UK. We are getting a lot of interest from customers about the Range Rover plug-in hybrid and we have a six-month order bank for the Jaguar I-Pacewhich has been a huge success since its launch.
“UK customer deliveries started at the beginning of September and such is the demand our UK business has requested an extra 25% UK I-Pace allocation for the 2018/19 financial year.”
Glover added that more than 250,000 individuals have started to configure their I-Pace online since its launch. “We have had 315,000 people visit the Jaguar I-Pace page to research and more than 1,000 I-Pac e drive appointments were made in September alone.”
The current benefit in kind company car tax rules place a 4% penalty on diesel vehicles.