(Rewrites throughout with Reuters confirmation, background)
By Andreas Cremer and Alexandria Sage
WOLFSBURG, Germany/SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 22 (Reuters) -
V olkswagen will no longer offer diesel vehicles in the United
States, its global brand chief said on Tuesday, ending
speculation the company might return to the technology after its
emissions scandal fades from memory.
The comments by Volkswagen brand Chief Executive Herbert
Diess, first reported by European business daily Handelsblatt
and confirmed to Reuters by a VW spokesman, were the strongest
yet to deny the possibility that diesel - once a quarter of the
brand's U.S. sales - could be a part of Volkswagen's future U.S.
Volkswagen reached a $14.7 billion settlement with 475,000
U.S. owners of diesel vehicles and federal and California
regulators in October after admitting to installing secret
software in its diesel cars to cheat emissions tests.
In September, Diess told Reuters at the Paris Auto Show the
company was not yet ready to abandon diesel technology, and
could continue to offer diesel models for the U.S. market.
Just last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the CEO of
Volkswagen Group of America, Hinrich Woebcken, told reporters he
did not believe diesel would ever "come back in the same
magnitude as we've seen it up to now" in the U.S. market.
"Emissions standards in following years are getting tougher
and tougher," Woebcken said. "Why don't you put the money and
investments ... to comply with these standards, why don't you
put the money on the spot where the future is?" he asked,
speaking of VW's new focus on electric vehicles.
Luxury car brand Audi, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, still
sees a diesel vehicle as possible, its Americas president said
"Once we hopefully get past everything, I see an opportunity
for potentially, probably to offer it on one model, and that
model would probably be the Q7 SUV," Audi of America President
Scott Keogh told Reuters.
(Reporting By Andreas Cremer and Alexandria Sage; Editing by