Volkswagen Canada will not sell any diesels in its lineup in 2017, according to a late November report in the Financial Post.
‘Diesel-gate’ – the scandal centered around the brand’s installing “defeat device” software in its cars to cheat controls during emissions testing – has cost the German company dearly, with year-to-date sales dropping by a staggering 13.9 percent in the Canadian market.
After the well-publicized debacle, VW’s share of the Canadian vehicle market dropped from 3.8 to 3.2 percent. Its sport-luxury sister brand, Audi, has escaped the scorn of Canadian buyers; its sales are up 15.2 percent year-to-date.
VW aims to revitalize its sales by focusing on the electrification of its lineup—though it may bring diesel vehicles back into the Canadian marketplace after a 2017 hiatus.
“We will not offer a diesel in our cars for the 2017 model year. Beyond that, we will examine each car line individually,” said Thomas Tetzlaff, VW company spokesperson, in an email interview with the Financial Post.
The company plans to sell one million electric vehicles by 2025, with electric vehicle manufacturing set to commence in the U.S. starting 2021 in a bid to win over American buyers who may have turned away from the brand after its negative publicity.
A Canadian class-action lawsuit is currently underway, with the next court hearings scheduled for December 19 and 20. Legal action in the U.S. was recently completed, with VW AG agreeing to pay a $14.7-billion USD settlement.
While the amount of additional pollution emitted into the atmosphere due to the dubious software was minimal – harmful emissions were up less than one percent – the economic impact has been severe. VW has said that it will cut 30,000 jobs worldwide in an effort to reverse its economic woes secondary to diesel gate.