Getty Images
Industryweek 10072 Vw Hood Ornament

Despite Scandal, VW to Push Diesel in the US

Jan. 6, 2016
Electric vehicles are only likely to be as cost efficient as fuel-driven cars in the next five to 10 years, CEO Matthias Mueller said, adding that 'until then we need diesel.'  

BERLIN—Volkswagen chief Matthias Mueller said Wednesday the embattled group would press on with its diesel marketing offensive in the United States, despite a massive government lawsuit over its pollution cheating scandal.

The German auto giant plunged into its biggest crisis over revelations that it had installed software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide aimed at skewing pollution data. 

The scandal first came to light in the United States, where the government on Monday sued Volkswagen for more than $20 billion (18 billion euros) over the scam.

Nevertheless, Mueller told business magazine Wirtschaftswoche that VW would maintain its bid to grow its diesel market in the United States.

"I see no reason to not at least try," he said. 

He acknowledged that VW had made a mistake in installing the rogue software, but pointed out that "without diesel, it is almost impossible for our industry to reach our carbon emissions target".

Electric vehicles are only likely to be as cost efficient as fuel-driven cars in the next five to 10 years, he said, adding that "until then we need diesel".

Diesels produce less CO2 than gasoline-powered engines, although they emit more nitrogen dioxide pollution.

Volkswagen's reputation is in tatters over the scandal, and Mueller said 650 class action suits had been filed against the group in the United States alone.

He is now trying to overhaul the group, right down to the slogan of "Volkswagen. Das Auto," saying that it is "not precise enough".

"The repositioning of the group would take two to three years, and is no child's play," said Mueller.

"But once new structures and formats take shape, then it is the first step to success," he said.

Mueller is scheduled to travel to the United States next week where he will meet "political leaders", Volkswagen has said, without revealing any details. 

VW is scheduled to start recalling some 8.5 million affected vehicles in Europe this month, but the company is still a long way from reaching an agreement with US authorities on a programme to rectify the problem.

In the worst-case scenario, VW may be forced to buy back all 600,000 affected cars in the United States, analysts have said.

The company said Tuesday its sales in the United States fell by 9% in December, and by five percent in 2015 overall.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016.

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Navigate Complex Cybersecurity Requirements With Purpose-Built Technology Solutions

Dec. 6, 2023
The CMMC represents a critical mandate from the U.S. DOD. Aerospace & Defense manufacturers that handle controlled unclassified information (CUI) must comply with CMMC requirements...

Five Ways Aerospace and Defense MRO Can Prepare for the New Normal!

Dec. 6, 2023
The right tools can help A&D suppliers track the essentials & ultimately, boost their margins. Advanced analytics can also help determine the profitability of contracts, drive...

What Does Agility Look Like for Today's Auto Industry?

Dec. 4, 2023
Without modern technologies, enterprises aren't able to fully analyze the risks and respond to ongoing supply chain issues and semiconductor shortages.

Electric Vehicles Spark New Opportunities in the Automotive Industry

Dec. 4, 2023
Automakers have increased plans to produce Electric Vehicles to meet customer demand for low emissions. With this radical shift, new opportunities and challenges for the auto ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!