STUTTGART, Germany—Sports car maker Porsche said Sunday it would become the first German auto giant to abandon the diesel engine, reacting to parent company Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal and urban driving bans. "There won't be any Porsche diesels in the future," Porshe CEO Oliver Blume told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Instead, the luxury sports car brand would concentrate on what he called its core strength, "powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles". The Porsche chief conceded the step was a result of the three-year-old dieselgate scandal at auto giant Volkswagen.
VW in 2015 admitted to U.S. regulators to having installed so-called "defeat devices" in 11 million cars worldwide to dupe emissions tests and obscure its much higher emissions on the road. It has so far paid out more than 27 billion euros in fines, vehicle buybacks, recalls and legal costs, and remains mired in legal woes at home and abroad.
Diesel car sales have dropped sharply as several German cities have banned them to bring down air pollution—a trend that Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to discuss with car company chiefs in Berlin later Sunday.
"The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble," Blume said, months after Germany's Federal Transport Authority ordered the recall of nearly 60,000 Porsche SUVs in Europe. He added that Porsche had "never developed and produced diesel engines," having used Audi motors. Last February, Porshe stopped taking orders for diesel-model carss, which it had sold for nearly a decade.