Jaguar are likely to be re-examined in light of the threat of increasingly stringent EU CO2 regulations, according to company insiders.
the firm is working flat out on bringing its new compact saloon and
crossover models to market, even those frugal machines (the cleanest
versions have a 99g/km target) might not be enough to lower Jaguar Land
Rover’s fleet average to meet 2020 regulations — not to mention even
stricter subsequent targets still to be set.
In the same way that BMW is rolling out a huge programme of economical front-drive cars under the BMW and Mini
brands (which could account for 40 per cent of BMW’s overall output by
the end of the decade), JLR is again eyeing a series of small
front-drive models that could be sold in larger numbers.
problem is that investment in what would certainly be a new, unique
steel architecture would need to be huge, and justifying commensurately
bold retail prices — and therefore decent profit margins — from small
cars is notoriously difficult. Some, however, are arguing that JLR
might have no choice but to build a rival to Mercedes’ new compact
models and BMW’s upcoming front-drive 1-series additions.
is because, by 2020, the EU wants to see the average CO2 output from a
manufacturer’s model range pegged to just 95g/km. The laws were voted
through the European Parliament in April. Although manufacturers who
build less than 300,000 cars a year can apply a less stern metric, JLR
is likely to be producing as many as 700,000 cars, thereby falling under
the 95g/km legislation. And because JLR sells significant numbers of
large SUVs, it is likely to seriously struggle to meet the targets.
the European Commission is going to set even more rigorous post-2020
targets by late 2014. Clearly these targets will demand even lower
emissions, and some EU politicians are already lobbying for targets of
68-78g/km of CO2. Experts say driving an electric car fully charged
using the European mains equates to around 75g/km of CO2 emissions via
the power generation infrastructure.
The proposals have already drawn strong criticism from the bosses of Volkswagen
Speaking to the German press, BMW chief Norbert Reithofer
described them as “entirely political aspirations; technology analysis
and feasibility have nothing to do with it”.
He said “tens of
billions of euros” had already been spent attempting to hit the 95g/km
target and warned that the European car industry didn’t have the
strength to further drive down average CO2 below EV-equivalent levels.
Trying to build such cars could ultimately be unprofitable and hobble
the European industry in its attempts to compete with global
manufacturers not subject to the same rules.
The plan to build a
Jaguar as short as just four metres is a favourite of design boss Ian
Callum. Last year he told Autocar that he relishes the design challenge
creating such a distinctive car would pose.
He also admits to being an open admirer of style-led small cars such as the Mercedes-Benz CLA.
“As a designer, I’d love to create a small car with Jaguar’s name
on,” he said. “But I have lots of projects I’d like to do — and few
expectations of there being a business case for them.”
Thanks to: Autocar