Audi’s American customers are “demanding” the firm still offers diesel powertrains, despite the fallout from the recent dieselgate emissions crisis, according to the firm’s member of the board in charge of technical development, Stefan Knirsch.
Speaking after it was announced that Audi had sold more than 200,000 cars in the US for the first time in 2015, a doubling of sales since 2011, Knirsch said: “In particular, customers of our Q models are saying ‘give us diesel engines’.
“The message we have received is that some of them love our diesel engines. Clearly they want them to comply with regulations, but that issue is set aside now. The fact is they love 900-1000km (610 miles) of driving range on the US cycle.”
Knirsch added that as a consequence of the customer feedback, the Audi SQ7, revealed last week, will be sold in the US.
Knirsch’s comments also come in the wake of a collapse in diesel sales in the US at the start of 2016. In January 2016, just 225 diesel cars were registered in the US, in comparison with 4448 in the same month of 2015. At the peak of diesel sales in the US - when 9500 cars were sold in a month - they accounted for 3% of all sales.