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Speth also said that the backlash against diesel has already cost 1000 JLR workers their jobs, with more at risk if it continues. He was particularly concerned by Government action against the sales of new diesel cars, rather than older cars.
“A disincentive has been placed on the newer, cleaner models, through tougher regulations and higher taxation,” he said. “It has cost jobs; at Jaguar Land Rover 1000 people have been let go – with all the knock-on effects to their families and our local economy. More may be lost in the future.
“Let us focus on that we wish to build, rather than that we wish to ban.”
The job losses, which came from the brands’ Solihull facility, were confirmed in April, following a slump in UK sales for diesel cars. Between January and April 2018, just 33.5% of registrations were diesels in the UK, compared with 44% in the same period last year.
It’s not the first time Speth has warned of diesel and Brexit risks; Speth has been outspoken on the problems to JLR that a hard Brexit would cause, saying “diesel has to – needs to – have a future.”
Despite JLR’s move towards electric mobility, with numerous electric models arriving in the next few years following the introduction of the Jaguar I-Pace, Speth reiterated diesel’s importance. He said: “new diesel will still be the right choice for many people. What will happen to our rural communities, the idyll of English life, if it is banned without alternative? Without the right infrastructure being put in place? All Hybrid powertrains require internal combustion – diesel and/or petrol – alongside electric technology.”