Volkswagen Canada says it will not sell diesel models for the 2017 model year, a decision media relations manager Thomas Tetzlaff said is directly related to the emissions scandal that has plagued the company for the last 14 months.
The VW Canada statement follows VW USA’s announcement that the company will no longer sell diesel engines at all, according to a Reuters news report. While Tetzlaff’s statement at least leaves open the possibility diesel will return to VW’s lineup north of the 49th, it nonetheless makes no promises. And given the close ties between the Canadian and U.S. auto markets, there’s a distinct reality that no U.S. diesels will mean none for anywhere in North America.
While Canadians will certainly see evidence of the push into SUVs, crossovers and electric vehicle VW hopes will propel it forward in the US, Tetzlaff said VW would look at the Canadian diesel situation on a model-by-model basis. To us, that sounds like there’s more soul-searching in VW’s future as it considers whether it’s worth trying to repair the damage the scandal caused its reputation, or better to simply focus its North American operations on popular SUV and crossover segments and the emerging market for electrified vehicles.
With the compact Jetta and Golf out of the diesel picture here, Chevrolet’s Cruze has North America’s entry-level diesel car market to itself, and the scandal has also taken VW (not to mention Porsche and Audi) out of the lucrative diesel SUV race.
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