Today, Volkswagen’s global brand chief announced that the company is done with diesels in the United States. Again. For real this time. Diesel, at least from this company, is dead. Get used to it.
That’s the news from Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess, speaking to European business daily Handelsblatt; the news was confirmed by Reuters. If you were somehow holding on to a sliver of hope that you could one day buy a Volkswagen-branded oil burner in America again, it’s time to let that hope fly away.
Volkswagen’s executives have been tilting this way for some time, even as the company’s strategy for more than a decade (until they got busted) was to push hard for the American acceptance of diesels. But now, from the story:
Just last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Hinrich Woebcken, told reporters he did not believe diesel would ever “come back in the same magnitude as we’ve seen it up to now” in the U.S. market.
“Emissions standards in following years are getting tougher and tougher,” Woebcken said. “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?” he asked, speaking of VW’s new focus on electric vehicles.
It’s kind of a shame. The advantages to diesel were, for a time, numerous; tons of torque and excellent fuel economy. But we Americans were deceived on how “clean” they actually were, rendering those other strengths negligible, at least as a fuel of the future.
There have still been a ton of great diesel cars sold in the U.S., and of course in other markets too. I gave a glowing review to the current Golf Sportwagen TDI when it came out. You can’t even buy that here anymore. And then there’s the turbocharged V6 Audi A6 TDI, a car I once regarded as one of the best do-everything vehicles I’ve ever tested.
There are a ton of great diesel cars, even if they are more than likely a thing of the past, not the future. Show us your favorites.