US: JLR going through with strategy to add diesel engines image

Jaguar Land Rover North America is facing terrible adverse odds, but they’re still committed to have their vehicles equipped with diesel engines in North America – all the while VW’s “dieselgate” rages on.

With an “apocalyptic” timing, JLR North America started delivering its first diesel-powered models in the US and has decided against modifying its launch strategy for the technology across the entire lineup in the coming years, according to chief executive officer Joe Eberhardt. The Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport are the first to offer in the US a diesel engine and they started delivering the choice just two weeks ago – and that same day the world found out Volkswagen (a prominent backer of diesel in the US) had deliberately cheated on emissions tests – with its vehicles actually polluting up to 40 times more than advertised. The scandal that engulfed the world’s largest automaker by sales has cost jobs, a third of its market value and will hurt its reputation presumably for decades to come.

Volkswagen’s admitted cheat is also delivering collateral damage across the industry in raising suspicions about the diesel technology and regulators in the US and around the world are looking forward at modifying their testing methods. “We are not changing our strategy,” said the top executive. The British automaker, parented by India’s Tata Motors, said back in January it would deliver diesel options to the entirety of the Jaguar and Land Rover model ranges by the end of 2017. Aside from new diesel options, the company is also delivering more Land Rover models, new products to the Jaguar brand and has refocused its marketing towards better pricing and free maintenance in a bid to recover the gap with the top tier carmakers in the luxury segment.