Volkswagen to sell diesel-powered cars in the US

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The logo of German carmaker Volkswagen is seen on a Volkswagen Golf GTI car at a showroom of Swiss car importer AMAG in Duebendorf, Switzerland, February 12, 2016. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

Volkswagen AG will soon sell diesel-powered cars in the US after it obtained approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). VW Group of America spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said the company updated its vehicles’ emissions software.

The German automaker said it was allowed by the US EPA to sell at least 67,000 diesel vehicles from the 2015 model year. These include about 12,000 vehicles that are currently in dealer inventory with approved emissions modifications. The company is moving towards electric vehicles, signalling a declining role for diesel engines in Volkswagen’s portfolio, particularly in the US.

The software update, which was part of the emissions repair by the EPA and California Air Resources Board, included modifications to diesel engine hardware, but Ginivan said dealers do not need to wait until the repair parts are available early next year. He added that they are currently in the process of finalising the details and would provide more details about its implementation at the right time. However, an independent Swedish test had questioned its diesel emissions fix.

Teknikens Värld, a publication known for its "moose test" dynamic assessment, said it has been clear to them that in several cases, the driveability of the cars has worsened dramatically. The remark came after it tested 10 different vehicles pre and post-fix. Volkswagen's Swedish arm said it found the result surprising.

Previously, the automaker admitted it rigged almost 500,000 diesel cars in order to pass US emissions tests, a scandal known as Dieselgate. It had allegedly put aside US$24 billion (AU$31 billion) to cover the costs and fines brought by the scandal.

Reviving diesel sales served as a significant milestone in the company’s efforts to recuperate from the scandal and regain the trust of environmental regulators. By the end of 2016, it has become the world’s largest automaker.

Earlier this year, Toyota Motor Corp surpassed Volkswagen as the number one automaker with Renault-Nissan Alliance on the second rank. Volkswagen ranked third.

Toyota’s worldwide production surged 9.4 percent in January and February of this year. Tokyo-based spokesperson Kayo Doi said the solid production begins in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations markets.

Volkswagen, on other hand, reportedly suffered an almost 10 percent decline in its core market, China, during the first two months of the year. Forbes notes that sales in the US and Europe, which are comparatively higher, cannot make up for the Chinese contraction. Audi, its profit machine, was down 7.7 percent in the same period.


Source: YouTube/Wall Street Journal

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