Wolfsburg - Volkswagen’s technical chief has sought to clarify remarks by a colleague last week that the company would begin rolling out its last generation of petrol and diesel engined cars in 2026.

Dr Frank Welsch told Auto Express that there was a “European focus” in strategy chief Michael Jost’s aforementioned remarks.

“There will still be regions - Africa, for example - where we are selling optimised combustion-engined vehicles for many years after that point (2026),” Welsch told the British publication.

He added that there would be many different solutions for meeting the challenges of the future and that they would vary depending on the region. Production of combustion engined products would thus continue to be produced until at least 2040 or beyond, Welsch said.

This will come as a relief to South African Volkswagen fans, who will be reluctant to make the switch to electric motoring given the uncertainty of South Africa’s power generation capacity amid all the current Eskom woes. Not to mention the current lack of recharging infrastructure or government incentives of the kind that other governments provide.

Volkswagen will make a big push towards electriciation in the coming decade, key to which will be the upcoming I.D. family of vehicles set to launch from 2019 onwards, which will include a Golf-sized hatchback (pictured in concept form above), a compact crossover and a retro Kombi-inspired van, among others. 

These models will be underpinned by the new MEB platform for battery powered vehicles.

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