Mini says that it looks forward to selling many diesel-powered vehicles in the year to come, defending the engine type against its current political and environmental issues following 'Dieselgate' and committing to the technology for the long term.
Speaking to Australian media at last week's 2017 Frankfurt motor show, Mini senior vice president Sebastian Mackensen said that discussions around diesel are currently not rational, but driven by other agendas.
“[Mini is] looking forward to selling many of them, committed [to diesel] long term… Right now, diesel doesn’t get an objective discussion, it’s an emotional, political, media discussion. Let us see how this develops,” Mackensen said.
“The EU 6 diesels have really good emission quality, they are very well-made machines and I think there is a future for diesel in Mini vehicles.”
Mini, like its parent brand, BMW, has committed to its electric future with big showcases and displays of its upcoming electric mobility platforms at this year’s Frankfurt show. Nonetheless, it still admits that electric vehicles are unlikely to make up more than 25 per cent of its sales in the coming decade, so a focus on the traditional internal combustion engine must still be at its core for the foreseeable future.
“We always have to see how things further develop, one thing we mentioned this morning is flexibility, it will be really important for all car manufacturers, diesel gets really beaten up right now, we all know why, let’s not talk about that, but I want to state again that we have pretty expensive tech in the diesel cars which makes sure they have the emissions they have, and the BMW diesel cars have excellent emission values. If you would switch all current diesels in Germany and put them on BMW diesels it would reduce emissions by 40 per cent.”
According to Mackensen, there is no rush to make any sudden decisions on diesel vehicles, with the technology still evolving, decisions need to be made on a case by case basis.
“We have to see what happens to the future of technology in the diesels and take it a case by case decision. We have markets, like Portugal, [where it’s] 88 per cent share of diesel for the Mini brand, we can’t say Portugal you were nice to us but we are out of here. Germany has 15 per cent only.”
So whilst talk of electric mobility seems to be the buzz for the moment, car companies appear to be investing in, and clearly being committed to, both petrol and diesel powertrains for decades to come.