Diesel is dead – at least that’s the position of Volkswagen in the US as the fallout from the ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal continues.
Reuters reports the carmaker has made the call to end the program, meaning diesel-powered passenger cars will no longer be available from Volkswagen for customers in the US.
The call came from Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, and was backed by Volkswagen USA.
This ends months of speculation from industry analysts as to whether Volkswagen would ‘relaunch’ its diesel program once the buzz surrounding dieselgate had dissipated. At one stage, diesels accounted for around a quarter of Volkswagen’s sales in the US.
And the decision is a recent one, with Volkswagen USA CEO Hinrich Woebcken saying he believed diesel would continue to form part of Volkswagen’s strategy in the US – albeit on a smaller scale – while speaking at the LA Auto Show.
With the diesel decision now looking final, Volkswagen may instead choose to concentrate on its electric vehicle program. Comments from Mr Woebcken in LA appear to support this strategy.
While Volkswagen will abandon diesel passenger cars for the US, Audi is reportedly viewing a slightly different position.
Audi may continue to offer diesels in the future for US buyers, but the Q7 SUV may end up being the only model with a diesel engine option.