Porsche confirms it will no longer offer diesel engines

Porsche Panamera

Volkswagen's Porsche will stop offering diesel versions of its cars, the unit's chief executive told a weekly newspaper, responding to ever tougher requirements to curb Carbon dioxide emissions. Recent court rulings in Germany stipulating that older diesel cars should be banned from certain areas have caused uncertainty among auto buyers.

Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) Porsche will stop offering diesel versions of its cars, the unit said on Sunday, sharpening its focus on hybrid and battery-powered vehicles instead.

Diesel versions of cars like the brand's Cayenne and Macan sports utility vehicles accounted for 12 percent of global sales a year ago, according to the statement.

Porsche's chief executive Oliver Blume insists the company is "not demonising diesel", but it's clear public demands are changing. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology. "The diesel crisis caused us a lot of trouble", said Blume.

Even without its own diesel vehicles, Porsche's reputation has suffered as the German automobile industry has taken hits since 2015, after it came to light that Volkswagen had been using special software during testing to hide how polluting its cars emissions were.

Current owners of Porsche models with diesel engines would continue to be serviced, Blume was quoted as saying by the paper. "Naturally we will continue to look after our existing diesel customers with the professionalism they expect".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss whether to require the auto industry to carry out costly hardware upgrades for older diesel vehicles to reduce inner-city pollution, government sources said.

Regardless of the reasoning, Porsche's decision to end diesel cars may prompt other companies to do the same.

"By 2025, every second new Porsche vehicle could have an electric drive - either hybrid or purely electric", the company said.

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