The diesel emission scandal has left Volkswagen at a bit crossroad in a number of areas. One of them deals with their brand identity in the U.S. For a better part of a decade, Volkswagen was known as the brand that sold 'clean diesels'. But the company is working to rebuild and change their identity. Part of that plan is taking diesel and putting it on the backburner.
Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken tells Automotive News that diesel will not be a core element of their identity going forward. That isn't to say diesel will be banished from the brand. Woebcken said the fuel are still in their plans from 2017 to 2019 if they can get regulatory approval. But he did say they are re-evaluating diesel in their future lineup for the U.S.
“We are not stopping diesel. Wherever diesel makes sense as a package to the car, we’ll continue. But in reality, we have to accept that the high percentage of diesels that we had before will not come back again,” said Woebcken.
“The regulations from 2019-2020 are going to be so hard that we would have had to find an alternative to a certain extent anyhow. The diesel crisis is forcing us simply to think about this earlier.”
Volkswagen's image rebuilding process in U.S. will see them at the beginning putting more emphasis on crossovers and all-wheel drive offerings. The first part of this process kicks off with the Golf Alltrack launching later this year. This will be followed by the long-awaited three-row crossover next March or April, and the long-wheelbase version of the Tiguan sometime in the summer.
In 2020, Volkswagen will launch the first of many electric vehicles using their MEB modular platform in the U.S.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)