By on October 27, 2015


Volkswagen could significantly overhaul its U.S. operations — including not selling diesel models in the country — after it has dealt with federal and civil claims stemming from its massive diesel cheating scandal, Reuters reported.

The report, which quoted two sources familiar with the automaker’s plans, said replacing North American chief Winfried Vahland, who quit after three weeks, would happen after the automaker has reached an agreement over its illegally polluting cars.

Roughly one out of every five Volkswagens sold in America is a diesel model, the company reported before the scandal erupted.

In 2014, Volkswagen Group reported over 598,000 sales in the U.S., of which nearly 367,000 were Volkswagen-branded vehicles. Globally, the company reported sales of just over 10 million cars. Volkswagen’s U.S. sales have slowed significantly since its peak in 2012 — even before the diesel scandal.

Meanwhile, Porsche seems to be pretty profitable

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19 Comments on “Volkswagen Scrapping Plans For US Overhaul Until After Scandal...”

  • avatar

    Great times to be lawyer. A VW employee… not so much.

    German car manufacturing stands to lose as a whole.

    • 0 avatar

      Judging by what a POS my 2001 Jetta TDI was, German manufacturing has been in decline for at least 15 years!

      I want to love German Engineering. My father owned Volkswagens, and he was an engineer. I’m an engineer, as well. We have a German last name. My TDI was a neat little car, when it ran. Alas, it was also terrible transportation, and it was about as reliable as my father’s Volkswagens, except with a surprising number of delicate $3000 parts. And now they’ve become tho poster chirdren for corporate malfeasance. So much for German Engineering.

      I really hope this is the kick in the @$$ that gets them to start building well engineered cars. I really *want* to be a fanboy, but they sure let me down.

  • avatar

    Shrewd plan to raise used VW diesel values and also build up future demand for diesels. “We’ll show you: NO diesel for YOU!”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    By 2017, they’ll be lucky to keep the lights on.

  • avatar

    Until after the scandal? Since when does a good scandal have an expiration date?

  • avatar

    Delaying the overhaul will simply put another nail in the coffin. Ending diesel sales altogether will add another. Its like they are saying to themselves “how can we (continue to) fail in the most spectacular fashion in North America? How can we make our situation that much worse?”.

    When Ford was on the brink of going under (before Chrysler and GM had to), they leveraged everything they had to fund new products. Ever since, its been a near constant on-slought of new products. Fusion was new in 2006, was redone in 2010 and fully redesigned in 2013, and a fairly big refresh is on its way right now. This was not because the car sold poorly or anything of the sort, its just that Ford has clearly learned its lesson about letting its midsize sedan go stale. Same with F-150, its been redesigned and/or gotten new engines every few years. They stopped screwing around with the Focus and gave us the global model again. After being neglected for so long in the past, Mustang is getting the attention it deserves.

    All of this has Ford in a very good position. VAG should take note: you dont stop investing in product just because times are tough, you do the opposite to pull yourself out of it.

  • avatar

    Hopefully prison will give them the quiet time they need to formulate a good plan.

    • 0 avatar

      I hope you also want prison time for the folks at GM , with recalls of today and the last one where death was indeed involved.

      • 0 avatar

        While you’re at it, how about some prison time for Toyota execs as well? While NASA et. al. couldn’t find any evidence of a “ghost in the machine” causing SUA, I seem to recall that some of their models were prone to pedal entrapment under aftermarket floor mats that led to fiery crashes.

        In my mind, the Toyota and GM scandals were approximately equivalent: a poorly designed [gas pedal | ignition key] could lead to accidents in certain circumstances. In both cases, an honest mistake that was initially covered up and handled poorly by the companies involved occasionally had disastrous consequences. Both companies eventually took ownership of the problem and put it right.

        Although the VW case didn’t directly cause any fatal crashes, it was quite a bit worse in that there was an *intent* to cheat right from the start.

        • 0 avatar

          Your last line cuts to the chase.

          In the case of GMs ignition issue – intent is also indicated.

          In general, corporate ceos and others who profit from criminal decisions have to be jailed. Otherwise financial penalties just become a “cost of doing business”. It has to stop.

  • avatar

    It’s pretty tough to make an economic case for diesel cars in the US or Canada. I haven’t driven one, so I can’t comment on whether or not they’re more enjoyable to drive.

    • 0 avatar

      My TDI was a total POS, but I loved driving it. Think about an engine that seems lazy, but has the torque to pull you up a mountain without downshifting. Between the torquey little diesel and the tight suspension, that thing flattened mountains and straightened curves.

      I dumped that POS money pit years ago, but I’m still talking about it — because it really was one of my all time favorite car. And it was also my all time worst car.

      If you ever get a chance to take a Jetta TDI on a test drive, do it. They’re really neat cars! But, do not, under any circumstances buy it. Leasing is probably OK, though.

      Alas, I cannot get my head out of the owner mindset. All things considered, our Prius is a vastly superior vehicle in terms of long-term ownership.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks. The only diesel vehicles I’ve driven include a 18 foot Isuzu moving van (very trucky), a late model Ram pickup with the Cummins I-6 (also very trucky), and a 1983 Mazda B2200 with a Perkins 2.2 liter normally aspirated diesel (slow, vibratey, noisy, and slow. Did I mention it was slow?)

        Lately I’ve been driving a plug in hybrid, and I’ve become addicted to the perfect response that an electrified drivetrain gives. If I get a chance to drive a diesel Jetta I sure will take it, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want one on a permanent basis, the kind of driving I do favors the hybrid powertrain.

    • 0 avatar

      They had more of a case a few years ago but with the prevalence of better performing small gas engines, I think the need for them is going away. The TDI has a lot of torque, but the modern TDI doesn’t do as well as the older TDI for fuel economy due to the emissions equipment and the regens that happen to clean out the DPF. After driving the 1.8 TSI, I’d kind of prefer one of them now. Fuel economy is a bit lower but gas is cheaper and available more places than diesel.

  • avatar

    Scandals aside, it seems that if you qualify for their $2000 loyalty rebate there are some pretty great lease deals you could get on a Jetta or a Passat that might make them cheaper to lease than pretty much anything else. Too bad you have to actually own a VW first.

    • 0 avatar

      VW needs to do a lot better than $2000 for loyalty cash. It’ll be interesting to see how their October sales are and whether or not they bump the cash up for the forthcoming months.

  • avatar

    VW will survive. As will VWoA. Restructure can wait, as long as Wolfsburg comes up with a plan. VW will shift to an offering of EV’s across its line-up along with Hybrids. They are investing in next gen battery technology (Tesla is way ahead) and – if VW uses its head, it could provide a turning point for EV infrastructure for the US. (Think: Instead of $5B in fines, $5B to build charging station across America – an opportuity is knockng EPA to really make a change).
    That VW cheated is unacceptable. Find the culprits, hold them personally accountable and change the corporate structure to keep it from repeating. And VW – hopefully – will learn to understand the American market and make the cars they will buy.

  • avatar

    It’s a disgrace!
    1. It took German prosecutors three weeks to decide to raid VW offices to look for evidence.
    2. The European auto industry is already lobbying to extend the leniency towards testing diesels.
    3. Still no uprising of shareholders who insist on firing management without the usual golden parachutes; management that should be held accountable for the catastrophic losses and drop in shareholder value.

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