Volkswagen has quietly gone out of the hybrid market – especially in terms of the Jetta and Touareg – for the American markets.
The scandal hit German company has been struggling to revive its popular name especially in the North American markets. Hence, this decision to remove a vehicle, which may not have set the sales charts on fire but certainly improved the green image of the company, is baffling. The decision to remove Touareg hybrid took place last year and it was not surprising since the vehicle received little interest.
The Jetta hybrid was made official in the 2012 Detroit auto show. It came with a 1.4 liter four-cylinder engine with turbochargers. It was combined with a 20 KW electric motor to provide a combined 170 bhp. Power was sent to the wheels through a seven speed DSG gearbox, thus making it one of the few with such a combination. However, the Jetta hybrid has never been popular in the sales charts largely because of the higher price over the regular variants. The Jetta hybrid was several thousand dollars more expensive than the gas or diesel powered Jettas.
The German company has just accepted a compensation of just over $10 billion for selling highly polluting vehicles over more than five years. However, this compensation only applies to the vehicles with four-cylinders and Volkswagen are yet to agree a deal over the compensation for six cylinder vehicles sold during the same period. The US government will use this fund to compensate owners to the tune of $1000 up to $7000 based on age of the car and several other parameters.
Volkswagen recently announced massive changes to its upcoming lineup of vehicles. Hybrid technology has been at the forefront of green power for many manufacturers up until now. However, Volkswagen is planning to go for full electric variants and several launches are expected to start within the next four years. As of now, the company is banned from selling its Tdi variants and the latest decision to cull the Jetta hybrid from the 2017 lineup limits the options even further. The 2016 Jetta hybrid came out with fuel efficiency figures of 42 mpg in the city and 48 mpg in the highway.
New features being added to the 2017 Jetta include a reversing camera, LED daytime running lights, and several driver assistant features on the lower trims. The vehicle will be available in four variants for 2017.