The company may not be able to contend with emissions standards.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the head of Volkswagen North America, Hinrich Woebcken, said that he is unsure if the company will bring back diesels for the US market. Woebcken said that US emissions are becoming stricter and that for now, VW will focus on gasoline cars as well as hybrids and EVs. Sales of non-diesel cars have been strong, but VW has lost a share of the US market because of the company's reliance on diesel. Woebken said that he will evaluate the situation on a “product by product and package by package” basis.
Volkswagen is still in talks with regulators to find fixes for certain diesel models that it's sold. The company has even agreed to pay $15 billion to owners and for fines. Volkswagen has never had the same success in the US that it has had globally. Last year during an eight month period, VW increased its US market share to 2.1%. This year during the same period, the company's market share is down to 1.8%. If Volkswagen does decide to stop selling diesels in the US, it could be the beginning of the end for diesel engines in the US altogether. Other than VW, few automakers even sell a diesel powered model that isn't a heavy-duty truck. Volkswagen was the pioneer to make diesel popular in the US.
There is the Chevy Cruze, a handful of BMW and Mercedes models, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, a few Land Rover models, and several trucks and vans. We hope that Volkswagen can figure out how to make its diesel engines conform to the new regulations. The diesel market seems so lacking without them.