Monday, November 21, 2016
Mercedes-Benz Considers Dropping Diesels In THe U.S
Volkswagen’s cheating scandal has taken a toll on the entire car industry, as stricter testing procedures now required by the EPA have delayed diesel certifications for a number of automakers. That includes Mercedes, which has a short-term plan for diesels, but may not offer them in the U.S. going forward.
Mercedes is working to get certification for a select few diesels in the U.S., but that may not be the case in the future if demand proves insufficient.
“We have to look at that and see whether it makes sense to offer diesels in the future,” Matthias Luehrs, VP of sales and product management for Mercedes-Benz Cars, told Automotive News. “We have not come to a conclusion but we obviously always tend to develop cars and offer vehicles according to customers’ demands.”
Demand for diesel cars and crossovers has been low “and is still lowering” in North America, Luehrs noted. Mercedes is conducting market research to help it make a decision on the matter. Getting rid of them entirely in our market “is a theoretical option,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mercedes is mostly optimistic about being able to offer diesels in the near future, saying its priority is to receive approval for the GLS350d. It had also applied for certification for the GLC and GLE SUVs. Mercedes announced last month that it was no longer seeking to offer a C-Class diesel next year in the U.S.
Other automakers aren’t shying away from diesels, including Mazda, which announced it will offer a CX-5 diesel for the first time in the U.S. next year. Despite all its troubles, Volkswagen is still committed to diesel engines in the U.S., but only when it makes sense. “We are not stopping diesel. Wherever diesel makes sense as a package to the car, we’ll continue,” VW Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken told AN earlier this year. However, he noted diesels will no longer be a core focus of the automaker’s U.S. brand identity.
MGCLS - LAX Car Service