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Volkswagen Plans To Stick With Diesel Engines And Believes Tesla Is Not A Threat

Volkswagen Plans To Stick With Diesel Engines And Believes Tesla Is Not A Threat
The diesel engine has a "great future" ahead even though the current discussion regarding diesel cars is unjustified, says the chief executive of German automaker Volkswagen.
"The diesels we are offering today are clean. They comply with the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) requirements and they meet the requirements and needs of our customers," Matthias Mueller, CEO of VW, said during a television interview on the sidelines of the Frankfurt motor show.
Despite a global pushback against the diesel technology and diesel cars by regulators and governments since the emissions scandal, VW plans to continue to develop diesel cars, Mueller explained.
"There's going to be a co-existence between combustion engines and electrified drive systems over the next 10 to 20 years, so against this background we should all be patient and relaxed and leave the decision to our customers, they should decide which concept they prefer," he said during the interview.
Ever since the emissions scandal began in 2015, Volkswagen has been under pressure from multiple quarters. Its use of software to cheat U.S. and European regulators' emission tests from 2006 to 2015 has been admitted by the car maker. And according to U.S prosecutors, this could have affected performance or inconvenienced customers because e that cheating allowed the company to sell diesel-equipped vehicles without installing emissions control systems.
The possibility that diesel engines could be banned in the future and customer concerns regarding diesel engines was completely understood by the top management at Volkswagen, Mueller added. In order to make sure bans are not implemented, the responsibility has to be taken up by the authorities, the car industry, as well as the electricity industry.
Muller admitted there are markets in the world where the brand has been weak in the past when looking ahead to where the company can create growth,
"I think we have to implement a greater presence in Russia and then we have to revive the South American market. And then there is the big issue, Africa. It remains to be seen to what extent the situation down there will be stable, politically speaking, so that is a market where we have to do our homework," he explained.
Tesla also came up in the conversation with Muller.  with a plan to sell 1 million battery driven vehicles by 2025, Volkswagen outlined plans to leapfrog Tesla in the electric car market in May. He doesn't think of Tesla is a threat to Volkswagen, Muller said.
"We can't compare apples with pears. Tesla is a company that sells less than 100,000 units and we sell 10 million. Currently, Tesla burns a 3 digit million amount and we've got results of 12 to 13 billion euros per year, so I think we have to be realistic here," he said.
Muller said he respected Tesla and it remains to be seen who will have the upper hand in the future.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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