Land Rover is considering launching a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle in an attempt to shed its image as one of the worst polluters in the car industry. The news comes as regulatory and consumer pressure grows on carmakers to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Land Rover is already taking steps to lower emissions from its existing line-up and runs one of the car industry’s largest carbon-offsetting programmes. But its smallest vehicle, the Freelander compact sports utility vehicle (SUV), emits 194g of CO2 per km compared with a target of an average of 140g per km being proposed by the European Union by 2008.
Geoff Polites, who runs Land Rover and sister marque Jaguar, told the Financial Times: “Part of the process will include downsizing and smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.”
Land Rover and Jaguar’s parent company Ford is “reviewing options” for the brands, which is widely expected to lead to a sale.