Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz luxury division said on Monday it aims to double the proportion of cars it sells in Japan this year that have diesel engines, unfazed by an emissions scandal that has roiled Volkswagen AG .
Kintaro Ueno, President and Chief Executive of Mercedes-Benz Japan, said diesel vehicles accounted for about 4-5 percent of its Japanese sales last year. He said the cars are in demand because of their fuel efficiency over long distances.
Speaking at the Japan launch of the carmaker’s C-class diesel vehicle, Ueno said there had been no impact on sales from German peer Volkswagen’s admission that it had used software to skirt U.S. emissions testing. “We will continue to actively pursue the diesel business,” he said.
The scandal over Volkswagen’s falsification of car emissions in the United States has cast a pall over the outlook for the diesel industry. Daimler has said it has not engaged in similar conduct.
The C-class diesel will be Mercedes-Benz’s 10th diesel model offered in Japan out of a total 26 models.
The automaker is also seeing robust sales overall in Japan. In the first half of 2015 it overtook Volkswagen as Japan’s top-selling imported car brand for the first time in 16 years.