Mercedes-Benz will continue to promote diesel cars in Japan despite the negative impression that Volkswagen AG has cast on the fuel technology with its emissions-cheating scandal.
Mercedes is aiming to double the proportion of diesel-powered cars it sells in Japan to 10 percent this year, Kintaro Ueno, head of Mercedes-Benz in Japan, told reporters in Tokyo.
He said despite being personally “shocked” by the Volkswagen revelations, Mercedes will push for diesel because of its merits, such as power and fuel efficiency.
Volkswagen’s cheating scandal raises concerns over the damage on German car brands, with Daimler AG and BMW AG also producing diesel models for sale in markets including Japan. Daimler said last week that it supports the development of new testing procedures and that it has never used “defeat devices” in its cars.
Mercedes introduced the diesel versions of its best-selling C-Class sedan and wagon in Japan on Monday. Sales begin next month, bringing the number of diesel models it sells in the country to 10.
Japanese regulators have begun an inquiry into whether Volkswagen’s vehicles sold in the country comply with emissions standards, adding to investigations of the automaker after it admitted to rigging 11 million cars with software that obfuscates how much they pollute.
Volkswagen will reconsider plans to introduce diesel models in Japan following the scandal, said spokeswoman Dorothea Gasztner.