Despite being hammered by the worldwide emissions cheating scandal involving its cars, the Volkswagen Group says it won’t give up on diesel vehicles in North America.
Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s brand chief in the U.S., told in an interview that he “wouldn’t give up diesel, even in the U.S.”; however, that’s a bit optimistic considering the extremely hot water the company is in.
In the United States alone, VW recalled nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles fitted with illegal software designed to manipulate nitrogen oxide emissions measurements on government tests. It still doesn’t have a fix for all the recalled vehicles and could be forced to buy back 115,000 cars outright.
To add to its hoes, a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department could see the German automaker pay up to $48 billion in fines and penalties. It is also being sued by thousands of disgruntled owners for millions of dollars.
Volkswagen’s image has clearly been tarnished, possibly beyond repair, and it’s hard to see it winning back the trust of the buying public in the near future.
Will you ever buy a Volkswagen vehicle following the scandal?
Porsche Ends Long-Term Relationship With Diesels
The German automaker will have a diesel-free future.
Porsche has ended its long-term relationship with diesel engines to focus on electrified vehicles.
The decision shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that diesel models only accounted for 12 percent of the company’s sales in 2017, while demand for its hybrid models keeps increasing. In Europe, approximately 63 percent of all Panameras sold are hybrid.
In fact, there wasn’t a significant dip in overall vehicle sales when it stopped offering turbodiesel cars in February of 2018. Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG, stated:
“Porsche is not demonizing diesel. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology. We as a sports car manufacturer, however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free. Naturally we will continue to look after our existing diesel customers with the professionalism they expect.”
It’s not just Porsche that giving up on diesels. BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Cadillac have all made a similar move, putting diesel engines to wayside to focus their energies on EV tech.
Cadillac Stops Diesel Development To Focus On Electric Vehicles
Don’t expect to see a diesel-powered Cadillac anytime soon, if ever.
Like its contemporaries BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, Cadillac has put the development of a turbodiesel engine on hold to focus on electrification.
The New York-based company had been working on a range of four- and six-cylinder engines primarily for a European offensive it has planned for years but never managed to carry out. The new XT4 crossover, for instance, was intended to be offered a diesel engine by 2020.
Company president Steve Carlisle confirmed the decision in an interview with , stating:
“We’ve been working on diesel, but the markets may be changing more quickly than we anticipated. Going forward, we will focus on electrification.”
While Carlisle stressed that diesel engines aren’t going away anytime soon and that Cadillac hasn’t killed the program entirely, the Dieselgate scandal and parent company General Motors’ sale of Opel are major setbacks that make the possibility a diesel-burning Cadillac very unlikely.
Perpetrated by Volkswagen in 2015, dieselgate demonized the diesel engine in North America and Europe and made it more complex to certify one, while Opel worked directly with Cadillac on diesel technology.
BMW Stops Making Diesels To Focus On Plugin Hybrids
BMW is the latest European automaker to give up on diesel engines.
Following in Porsche’s footsteps, BMW has announced that it will stop producing diesel-powered vehicles at the end of the 2018 model year as it shifts its attention to plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV).
Company spokesman Alex Schmuck confirmed the decision to at the North American launch of the new BMW X5, stating “We are putting all our eggs in the PHEV basket.”
With the diesel-powered X5 ceasing production, buyers looking for a more fuel efficient version of the new the midsize SUV will have to settle for the new X5 plug-in hybrid, which is has approximately 40 miles of electric range on a full charge. The electrified X5 arrives in the first quarter of 2020.
This development shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that demand for diesel engines has been on the decline ever since VW’s Dieselgate scandal and the more stringent emissions standards it helped instigate, and it’s likely that most other automakers will follow suite in the coming years.
BMW now plans to introduce 25 new electrified vehicles by 2025.