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March 3, 2003

USA: First Jaguar diesel out this year – report

Jaguar will start rolling out diesel engines later this year, The Car Connection (TCC) website reported, citing Ford COO Nick Sheele as saying that the first will appear by the end of 2003 in the new XJ saloon.

By bcusack

Jaguar will start rolling out diesel engines later this year, The Car Connection (TCC) website reported, citing Ford COO Nick Sheele as saying that the first will appear by the end of 2003 in the new XJ saloon.

Other sources have told TCC that Jaguar will steadily expand diesel availability with the S-type and the entry-level X-type to follow.

TCC said that the arrival of diesels is way behind some of Jaguar’s key European luxury competitors, including Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and was a point of significant debate within the car maker.

TCC claimed that Jaguar officials ultimately concluded they would otherwise miss a significant and fast-growing segment of the European market and noted that, in some countries, such as Austria, diesels currently account for 80% of new vehicle sales. Sales run about 40% continent-wide.

TCC added that, though Mercedes will test demand for a diesel E-Class in the US next year, there are, for the moment, no plans to bring the diesel XJ across the Atlantic.

That could change if Mercedes builds demand – and American regulators relax tough new emissions standards that could drive diesels out of the US market by 2007, TCC noted.

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