Volkswagen will continue to sell diesels, but not in large numbers

volkswagen wont renew u s diesel push emblem
Volkswagen is done promoting diesels as a central part of its brand identity in the U.S. The embattled German carmaker isn’t finished selling diesels here, but it won’t bring them back in large numbers anytime soon.

That’s according to Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken, who told Automotive News (subscription required) that VW won’t relaunch the diesel push that ended when it was discovered that the company cheated on emissions tests. Prior to the emissions scandal, Volkswagen dominated sales of diesel cars in the U.S.

“We are not stopping diesel,” Woebcken said, “But in reality, we have to accept that the high percentage of diesels that we had before will not come back again.” Diesels are part of VW’s plans for 2017 through 2019, assuming regulatory approval. Yet it’s unlikely that volumes will return to pre-scandal levels, where diesels accounted for more than 20 percent of Volkswagen’s U.S. sales.

Read more: Regulators nix modification plan for VW 3.0-liter diesels

Volkswagen stopped sales of its 2015-model diesels in September 2015, when news of the scandal broke. At the time, it thought it could get the EPA to certify 2016 models for sale, but that quickly proved unrealistic. The company hasn’t asked permission to start selling new diesels again, so it’s unclear when new Volkswagen diesels will actually go on sale here.

Fallout from the emissions scandal may be part of the reason for VW’s decision to ditch most of its diesels, but stricter regulations are a factor as well. Woebcken said that U.S. regulations set to take effect in 2019 are so tough that “we would have had to find an alternative to a certain extent anyhow,” and that the scandal just forced Volkswagen to think about it earlier.

VW will focus more on electric cars and the crossovers Americans can’t get enough of. It plans to launch a new seven-seat midsize crossover, a redesigned version of the compact Tiguan, and the Golf Alltrack, an SUV-ified Golf wagon that copies the Subaru XV Crosstrek and Outback formula.


Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.

Honor to out-megapixel the competition with 48MP camera on upcoming View 20

After its phenomenal success with the View 10 in 2018, it looks like Honor is getting ready up the ante with its forthcoming Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about it so far.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.