VW Chief Foresees Dark Days for Diesels

Volkswagen hasn’t offered diesels in the U.S. for over a year now, and it looks like they may never come back. Although VW previously said it would like to reintroduce diesels to the U.S. once its emissions scandal has cleared up, recent comments from a top-level executive signal a much more pessimistic outlook for the future of these vehicles on our shores.

“We are working under the assumption that we will no longer offer diesel vehicles in the United States,” Volkswagen Passenger Cars chief Herbert Diess told Handelsblatt. “The reason is the legal framework.”

These are the strongest words yet supporting the theory that VW would stop making diesels for the U.S. market. The plan would make sense, however, if you consider VW’s shifting focus toward electric cars. VW Group plans to introduce more than 30 battery electric cars by 2025 as part of a radical transformation plan.

Diess’ comments contrast sharply from recent remarks made by one of his colleagues. Hinrich Woebcken, VW Group of America CEO, said a few months ago that VW will continue offering diesels when it makes sense on a particular model, while adding “we have to accept that the high percentage of diesels that we had before will not come back again.” During a Q&A session at the Los Angeles auto show last week, Woebcken and VW chief engineering officer Matthias Erb seemed to confirm these sentiments, refusing to rule out the possibility of bringing diesels back to the U.S. in 2018 or later, reports our colleagues at Motor Trend.

Apparently, Audi hasn’t given up its hopes. “Once we hopefully get past everything, I see an opportunity for potentially, probably to offer it on one model, and that model would probably be the Q7 SUV,” Audi of America boss Scott Keogh told Reuters.

source: Automobile Magazine

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