Volkswagen cancelled plans to launch into Japan’s diesel market next year, presenting instead a mea culpa and a plug-in concept that may be soon be scheduled for production.
Still working to repair an image tarnished by the diesel scandal, the CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars began his speech at the Tokyo Motor Show with an apology.
“I would like to apologize sincerely for actions that went against everything our company and its people stand for,” Dr. Herbert Diess said earlier today during VW’s press conference at the show. “Our customer’s confidence and trust is what is most important to us and we are doing everything that we can to win back this trust in our brand and products. That means we will come up with big technical solutions and uncover the full truths with what happened and make sure something like this will never happen again.”
A portion of Diess’ speech can be seen in the video below.
Volkswagen had been planning to bring its Passat Diesel to Japan at the beginning of 2016. But the recent news that the company had been using defeat devices has caused VW to restructure its diesel strategy.
“We have … decided to review the timing of the launch,” Sven Stein, chief of Volkswagen’s Japan division, said of the Passat Diesel.
But VW announced that it is planning to put its new Tiguan GTE into production. This plug-in concept, which debuted last month at the Frankfurt auto show, stands out from the competition because of its solar panels mounted in the roof, which are capable of charging the battery. In one year, VW estimated this modular array can produce enough electricity to power the Tiguan GTE for up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
Despite reports that have said the Tiguan GTE “goes on sale internationally in late 2016,” Volkswagen did not say as much when asked.
The Tiguan GTE was “designed to provide an outlook on the range of possible powertrain solutions available in the Tiguan model line,” a representative with Volkswagen told HybridCars.com. “While we can confirm that the all-new Tiguan will also be available as a plug-in hybrid, the exact launch schedule and available markets have not been established just yet.”