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Volkswagen has announced it is dropping plans to continue supplying the U.S. market with its diesel-powered cars. The move came as a no surprise to those who are familiar with Volkswagen's emissions scandal just a couple of months ago.
Volkswagen brand CEO Herbert Diess discussed the future restructuring of its focus in a plan called Transform 2025+ for some regions that includes the United States. Volkswagen's goal is to become the world market leader in e-mobility with its electric-powered vehicles. With this restructuring, the company has effectively dropped all plans for future diesel models in the U.S., according to MSN.
The announcement is in line with Volkswagen Group of America's CEO Hinrich Woebcken, who days earlier said that while there will be no diesel brands released in the U.S. for 2016 and 2017, diesels will be considered in 2018 on a case-by-case basis only. Pressed for further comments, he clarified that emissions standards are getting tougher and harder to comply. Their investment would be focused more on where the future of automobiles will go, which is a reference to electric vehicles, as stated in a report by ExtremeTech.
At the height of its popularity, a quarter of Volkswagen's sales in the U.S. were diesel-powered cars. However, it was found out that VW's diesel-powered cars' emissions software only functioned when the cars were on test stands. As such, the U.S Justice Department and the EPA sued Volkswagen for emissions cheating.
The diesel-powered car emissions scandal led Volkswagen in the US to agree to a $14.7 billion settlement covering 475,000 VW TDI (diesel) vehicles and included an agreement to spend $2 billion on zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) projects in the next decade. This has further accelerated plans to push ahead with VW's goal to mass-produce electric-powered vehicles in the future.
With the introduction of the e-Golf and the reopening of its Transparent Factory plant in Dresden to produce electric vehicles, Volkwagen is in the right track towards its Transform 2025+ goal.