Volkswagen’s chief of strategy recently stated the Wolfsburg-based brand would introduce its final combustion engine platform in 2026. But now the automaker has moved to clarify the statement, insisting it will keep developing combustion-engined vehicles for certain regions (including Africa) “for many years after that point”.

Michael Jost earlier said “the year 2026 will be the last product start on a combustion engine platform” as VW accelerated its shift towards electric vehicles in the wake of the diesel-emissions scandal that first hit headlines in September 2015.

However, Frank Welsch, Volkswagen’s board member for technical development, has now said “we are not stopping making combustion engines in 2026”.

“What Mr Jost was saying was a focus on the Paris agreement and the start of developing this combustion-engined platform. There was a European focus in his comments,” Welsch said, according to AutoExpress.

“There will still be regions – Africa, for example – where we are selling optimised combustion-engined vehicles for many years after that point.

“We are still committed to developing a wide range of power source for our vehicles – petrol, diesel, CNG, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electrification,” Welsch said.

“Even if we know there is a plan for 25 percent of our cars to be pure-electric in the future, that still leaves 75 percent where we have to answer to customer demands. There will be many different solutions and they will vary depending on the region.”