World

Says lower gas prices are no reason to back away from efficient vehicles

  • The  New Volkswagen Passat, the car of the Year 2015,  is on display during the award ceremony ahead of the Geneva Motor Show  in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 2, 2015.  The large family car Volkswagen Passat has been voted car of the year by European automotive editors at the Geneva International Motor Show. German Volkswagen's four-door sedan beat six other finalists including Citroen's C4 Cactus, Renault's Twingo and the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer. The Passat has an updated collision avoidance system compared to its predecessor and other new technology, including emergency driver assistance and cross-wind stabilization.    (AP Photo/Keystone,Sandro Campardo)

    The New Volkswagen Passat, the car of the Year 2015, is on display during the award ceremony ahead of the Geneva Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 2, 2015. The large family car Volkswagen Passat has been voted car of the year by European automotive editors at the Geneva International Motor Show. German Volkswagen's four-door sedan beat six other finalists including Citroen's C4 Cactus, Renault's Twingo and the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer. The Passat has an updated collision avoidance system compared to its predecessor and other new technology, including emergency driver assistance and cross-wind stabilization. (AP Photo/Keystone,Sandro Campardo)  (The Associated Press)

  • The  New Volkswagen Passat, the car of the Year 2015,  is on display during the award ceremony ahead of the Geneva Motor Show  in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 2, 2015.  The large family car Volkswagen Passat has been voted car of the year by European automotive editors at the Geneva International Motor Show. German Volkswagen's four-door sedan beat six other finalists including Citroen's C4 Cactus, Renault's Twingo and the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer. The Passat has an updated collision avoidance system compared to its predecessor and other new technology, including emergency driver assistance and cross-wind stabilization.    (AP Photo/Keystone,Sandro Campardo)

    The New Volkswagen Passat, the car of the Year 2015, is on display during the award ceremony ahead of the Geneva Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 2, 2015. The large family car Volkswagen Passat has been voted car of the year by European automotive editors at the Geneva International Motor Show. German Volkswagen's four-door sedan beat six other finalists including Citroen's C4 Cactus, Renault's Twingo and the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer. The Passat has an updated collision avoidance system compared to its predecessor and other new technology, including emergency driver assistance and cross-wind stabilization. (AP Photo/Keystone,Sandro Campardo)  (The Associated Press)

The CEO of Volkswagen AG is staying with his cautious outlook for this year, saying it's a "balanced assessment" of growth in the U.S. and China versus trouble spots such as Russia and Brazil.

Martin Winterkorn told The Associated Press that "I think it's quite a good assessment, as usual we at Volkswagen do not want to lose touch with reality despite all the successes."

Volkswagen last week cautioned that 2015 could be a turbulent year, though it projects increased sales.

Winterkorn also said low gas prices are no reason to back off building fuel-efficient and electrically-powered vehicles for the future. He said that would be "thinking short-term" and that VW would press ahead with new technologies.

Winterkorn spoke after the company unveiled a hybrid-powered large four-door coupe Monday at the Geneva International Motor Show.