Porsche to become 1st German car maker to abandon diesel

Porsche to become 1st German car maker to abandon diesel

BERLIN (Rahnuma): Porsche announced on Sunday that it will no longer offer diesel engines for its cars in the future, becoming the first German car maker to do this.

“For us as a sports car manufacturer, where diesel has traditionally played a subordinate role, we have come to the conclusion that we want to get along without diesel in the future,” Oliver Blume, chairman of the executive board of Porsche AG, told press.

The Stuttgart-based company announced the decision following similar decisions by Volvo and Toyota. It said it would concentrate instead on hybrid technology and electric mobility.

Porsche has not offered diesel engines for its models since February, but it remained unclear whether this would be a long-term decision.

“Porsche never developed or produced diesel engines itself,” Blume told the German press agency dpa. “Nevertheless, Porsche’s image has suffered. The diesel crisis has brought us a lot of trouble.”

According to Porsche, global demand for diesel cars was declining. Of all cars sold by Porsche in 2017, only 12 percent had been equipped with a diesel engine. Demand for hybrid engines, however, was increasing. A total of 63 percent of Porsche’s Panamera models were ordered as hybrid versions.

In Germany, there were 236,710 registered hybrid cars at the beginning of 2018, according to official numbers by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). The number of hybrid cars increased by 71,305 compared to the previous year. This was also the strongest increase ever measured.

On Sunday evening, Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the heads of the major German car manufacturers to discuss measures against the imminent driving bans for diesel vehicles in German cities. A decision on hardware upgrades for old diesel engines in Germany is expected by the end of the week. The German car manufacturers have rejected such modifications thus far.

Germany’s governing political parties have been arguing for weeks about measures against polluted air caused by excessive nitrogen oxide emissions in numerous German cities, as well as the issue of how to deal with older diesel vehicles.

According to an unconfirmed report by the German magazine Spiegel, Merkel has decided that older vehicles should be retrofitted with nitrogen oxide catalytic converters.

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