Despite what you may be thinking, Keogh claims the decision isn't based on the ongoing talks between parent company Volkswagen and US regulators regarding the diesel emissions scandal. (Currently, Audi and Volkswagen are awaiting EPA certification for their diesel engines in the US.) The reason, he says, is that the demand for diesel sedans is low here, particularly when compared to the company's lineup of crossovers. "The marketplace speaks, we listen to the marketplace, and the marketplace told us, 'Go with SUVs,'" says Keogh, presumably in his usual straightforward, assuring manner.
That's not to say, though, that one doesn't have an effect on the other. We've already seen that the scandal has had an impact on sales. Now, in a country where many were already under the assumption that diesel engines were dirty and noisy, it's no revelation that automakers are less than enthusiastic about expanding their grease-burning offerings.
While the news is a bit of a bummer for those of us who have long hoped for more widespread diesel options here in the States (and for whom the whole Dieselgate debacle is downright depressing), there's still plenty to look forward to in terms of greener, cleaner Audis. At the A3 E-Tron event late last year, Keogh was bullish on EVs, promising that it was just the first step in a "substantial commitment." Audi's plan is, in Keogh's words, to "start with the plugs, come in with the full BEVs and then keep rolling from there." He repeated these assurances at the LA Auto show, saying that he expects 20 to 25 percent of Audi's sales to be plug-in vehicles by 2025.
Plus, despite the whole diesel thing (which, to be fair, affects far fewer Audi cars than Volkswagens), Audi has been killing it lately. February sales marked a streak of 62 consecutive months of record sales in the US. For an automaker that is repeatedly saying that it believes the future is in electrification, this bodes well for us.