In a press release Volkswagen, the German car manufacturing giant announced as expected that it will no longer produce diesel powered cars for the US market. It’s well known that the auto giant has switched its focus to electric powered vehicles, this in the wake of extremely damaging reports of them deliberately tampering with their cars to show lower emissions than we actually being produced.
The move isn’t that out of character for a sector that’s fast moving away from diesel. The fuel is thought of as a large contributor to damaging particulates in the atmosphere, and most auto manufacturers are planning to phase out the technology in the coming years. Its beneficial effect as a slow burning fuel has been slowly eradicated by advancements in petrol technology along with electric car production which continues at pace. Indeed Renault had already intimated that they would shortly stop producing diesel cars, but Volkswagen are by far the largest manufacturer to announce the measure.
American diesel car sales amount to roughly a quarter of Volkswagen’s sales in the country. But recently Volkswagen have agreed to pay billions in fines related to their diesel vehicles, it’s unsurprising that the vehicles are no longer the darling of the business that they once were.
It’s also clear that they are planning a big shift in focus to sports utility vehicles which have mass popularity in the states, where wider roads and lower fuel costs contribute to making the vehicles much more cherished. This will be a departure for Volkswagen, as a company that are better known for their small sporty hatchbacks and executive saloon vehicles which are a great success in the business sector.
It’s fairly obvious that with company stock at the lows that they are, the pressure is on the top brass at the motor giant to produce the goods, and repair their damaged reputation. America is an extremely important and lucrative market for the company and its various brands.
A move away from diesel and a fresh lineup of high quality and fuel efficient SUV’s ought to help VW to rebuild in a country that’s business it desperately needs. With recent news of job losses the company obviously has a vision for the future, but will it pan out the way that it sees? VW’s future as a world leader is unlikely to change anytime soon, but they desperately need to turn a bad few years for the business on their head to remain on top.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.