Germany’s Porsche says it will not produce new diesel models

Germany’s Porsche says it will not produce new diesel models

BERLIN-Agence France-Presse
Germany’s Porsche says it will not produce new diesel models

Porsche on Sept. 23said it would become the first German auto giant to abandon the diesel engine, reacting to parent company Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal and urban driving bans.

“There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” CEO Oliver Blume told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Instead, the luxury sports car brand would concentrate on what he called its core strength, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric cars.”

The Porsche chief conceded the step was a result of the three-year-old “dieselgate” scandal at Volkswagen.

VW in 2015 admitted to U.S. regulators to having installed so-called “defeat devices” in 11 million cars worldwide to dupe emissions tests and obscure its much higher emissions on the road. It has so far paid out more than 27 billion euros in fines, vehicle buybacks, recalls and legal costs and remains mired in legal woes at home and abroad.

Diesel car sales have dropped sharply as several German cities have banned them to bring down air pollution -- a trend that Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to discuss with car company chiefs in Berlin late on Sept. 23.

“The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” Blume said, months after Germany’s Federal Transport Authority ordered the recall of nearly 60,000 Porsche SUVs in Europe.

Porsche in February stopped taking orders for diesel models, which it had sold for nearly a decade. Blume said Porsche had “never developed and produced diesel engines,” having used Audi motors, yet the image of the brand had suffered.

He promised that the company would keep servicing diesel models on the road now.

Porsche, diesel models, Volkswagen