In an interview with Automotive News, Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken says that VW will dial back its push for diesel powertrains in the U.S. market in the wake of the company’s emissions scandal.
Pending regulatory approval, Woebcken indicated that Volkswagen does have diesel models in its plans for 2017 to 2019 but that the role of the powertrain is being reassessed within its lineup.
Prior to the scandal, Volkswagen held the majority of the U.S. diesel car market, with 20 percent of its sales coming from six models equipped with the engines.
Also impacting Volkswagen’s product strategy are the forthcoming Tier 3 tailpipe emissions regulations.
Slated to take effect in 2017, the rules impose more stringent requirements for nitrogen emissions that will force automakers to make extensive changes to diesel exhaust systems.
Acknowledging the gravity of the diesel crisis, Woebcken indicated that “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.”