It’s official. Volkswagen is out of the diesel business in the states. The brand confirms it won’t be selling any more TDI models in the U.S. following the diesel scandal that almost took down the entire company. The news came down last week via VW’s global brand chief.
Instead, VW will turn its U.S. focus to SUVs like the new 2018 Atlas as well as electric cars.
It’s a big change since diesels were once a quarter of the brand’s U.S. sales. But overall, the Volkswagen brand believes emissions standards are just too tough to continue down that avenue.
At the November Los Angeles Auto Show, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Hinrich Woebcken, told reporters he did not believe diesel would ever “come back in the same magnitude as we’ve seen it up to now” in the U.S. market.
“Emissions standards in following years are getting tougher and tougher,” Woebcken said. “Why don’t you put the money and investments … to comply with these standards, why don’t you put the money on the spot where the future is?” he asked, speaking of VW’s new focus on electric vehicles.
Note though that Audi, a subsidiary of VW, isn’t planning to bow out just yet. The luxury brand still thinks diesels are a part of its future once the scandal dies down.
“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 President Scott Keogh told Reuters.
Volkswagen recently reached a $14.7 billion settlement with 475,000 U.S. owners of diesel vehicles and federal and California regulators after admitting to installing software in its diesel cars to cheat emissions tests.