German automaker Volkswagen will drop diesel vehicles in the United States, its global brand chief said on Tuesday. The company also said that it will refocus on sports utility and electric vehicles. This suggests that it might not return to the technology after the 'dieselgate' scandal.
Volkswagen has agreed to pay a $14.7 billion settlement with 4,75,000 owners of diesel vehicles in U.S. after admitting to installing secret software in its diesel cars to cheat emissions tests.
Volkswagen brand Chief Executive Herbert Diess said in September at the Paris Auto Show that the company was not yet ready to drop the diesel engines and will continue to sell diesel models for the U.S. market.
At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America said that he did not believe diesel models would ever "come back in the same magnitude as we've seen it up to now" in the U.S. market.
Woebcken said, "Emissions standards in following years are getting tougher and tougher. 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?"
The luxury car brand Audi, a subsidiary of Volkswagen believes that it still sees a diesel vehicle as possible, the President of Audi America Scott Keogh told Reuters.
He said, "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."