Baby crossover’s US arrival delayed because of VW’s diesel missions scandal

Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal has had far-reaching consequences for a lot of parties and the lingering effects have extended all the way to some of the conglomerate’s other auto brands. Porsche, for one, has already felt the pinch when it was forced to pull the Porsche Cayenne Diesel from the U.S. market in late 2015 even though the SUV had gained a lot of traction in the market. That wasn’t the case for the Macan Diesel, which was supposed to have already made its debut in the U.S. But, in the wake of that scandal, Porsche opted to hold off on the Macan Diesel’s U.S. debut.

That has put Porsche Cars North America in a precarious position. The company had high hopes for the Macan Diesel as a lower-cost alternative to its Cayenne counterpart. But with the scandal still in the minds of a lot of people, there’s been some uncertainty within Porsche on when the crossover will be offered in the U.S. market. Speaking with Automotive News, Porsche Cars NA CEO Klaus Zellmer indicated that the company still has plans of bringing the Macan Diesel to the U.S. market. That’s still set in stone.

What isn’t set in stone is the timetable, something Zellmer admitted is a tricky thing to navigate given the steps the company needs to take before the model can be sold in the US. That’s going to take some time considering that Porsche still has to work things out with the proper authorities and do the necessary repairs on the models to make them up-to-stuff (legally) in the market.

The good news is that this isn’t an “if” question, but a “when” question. Porsche has every intention of releasing the Macan Diesel in the U.S. Zellmer even said that customer feedback on the Cayenne Diesel has been overwhelmingly positive and that a lot of customers were disappointed to see the SUV removed from the market.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

Porsche may be a victim of circumstance in this scenario, but this move had to be done. It’s not even just about the company being owned by Volkswagen. It’s also about Porsche needing to withstand the backlash that Volkswagen is experiencing. Riding that wave allows Porsche to prepare for what needs to be done on the model before finally launching it in the U.S. market.

It’s a conservative choice to make and one that comes with its share of risks, but it’s also important to take this step with a measured approach. VW really didn’t do itself - and all the auto brands it owns - any favors by getting embroiled in this scandal. Even if there’s only one Porsche model affected (the 2015 Cayenne), this kind of stink isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so it was smart for the German automaker to let the issue boil over before bringing the Macan Diesel into the U.S.

The good news is that Porsche won’t have to worry about perceptions as much as Volkswagen did. If anything, the Macan Diesel can ride on the popularity of its Cayenne counterpart to boost its sales volume. Then again, the Macan might not even have to do that considering how popular it has been in Europe, skyrocketing to second place in Porsche’s sales charts, bested only by its big brother SUV.

Once it hits the U.S., it’s inevitable for the SUV-hungry market to set its sights on the Macan Diesel as a more affordable version of the Cayenne. Porsche already knows this and it’s just waiting for the perfect time to finally launch the crossover across the pond. Rest assured, when it does arrive, the Macan Diesel has the potential to unseat the Cayenne as the best-selling Porsche in the U.S.

Porsche Macan

2015 - 2017 Porsche Macan High Resolution Exterior
- image 533190

Read our full review on the Porsche Macan here.

Source: Automotive News

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