Audi USA's president Scott Keogh believes so. Car and Driver reports that at a Detroit Auto Show press conference, Keogh said diesel still has a future in the U.S., but only for a certain type of vehicle.
“I think there’s a future, that’s point number one. We’ve got to get the cars out there fixed, and we will get them fixed. We’ve got to make it right by the customers and right by the dealers. But I do see a market for cars that have a lot of torque and a lot of range, although I think it will be significantly stronger for SUVs than it is for passenger cars,” said Keogh.
Aside from the scandal, Keogh argued that falling prices of gasoline have also played a key role in the decline of smaller diesel engines.
“Look at fuel prices and TDI mixes across the board have come significantly down. I think the other thing driving them down is the unknown factor [of the emissions scandal], and we have to get that clarified, fix the cars, and get them back on the road . . . But long-term I do see a market for diesel, particularly SUVs. I don’t see fuel prices [remaining at] $2 or $2.30 a gallon. The price will rise again.”
Keogh's comments echo similar thoughts made by a Volkswagen executive earlier in the month.
“I wouldn’t give up diesel, even in the U.S.,” said Herbert Diess, Volkswagen's brand chief to Automotive News on the sidelines of the automaker's CES presentation.