Volkswagen hopes to agree the ‘dieselgate’ fine with the US government by the end of the year, a media report said.

Speaking to Reuters ahead of the Paris show, CEO Matthias Mueller said he also saw “good progress” toward an agreement with U.S. regulators that could allow Volkswagen to repair some three-litre diesel engines that don’t meet US emissions laws.

Audi this week fired its technical development chief and there were reports the US Justice Department is assessing how big a criminal fine it can extract from Volkswagen without putting the automaker out of business.

Mueller told Reuters “we have been in a constructive dialogue with authorities in Germany, in Europe and the US for the past 12 months” and said he hoped to know the results of all the investigations “in the foreseeable future”.

VW last June agreed to pay up to US$16.5bn to resolve civil litigation related to the emissions cheating, to buy back vehicles if they could not be repaired as required by US and California regulators, and to fund projects such as expanded electric vehicle charging networks. Mueller told Reuters he was concerned about the size of potential additional fines. “The settlement that we have … reached with the civil authorities isn’t cheap,” he said. “We have made provisions for everything that we believe we will have to face, including fines, environmental projects, compensation to the people … We will have to see if that’s enough or not.”

H also said the company faced more than a financial cost: “We gambled away the trust people had in us and now we have to see how to get it back. That will definitely take longer than it took to lose it.”

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But both Mueller and Volkswagen global brand chief Herbert Diess told the news agency the company was not ready to abandon diesel technology and could continue to offer such models in the US.

“At some point there will be a tipping point, where electric mobility will gain the upper hand. I don’t know when this will be. Maybe 2030 or 2035,” Mueller said.

Volkswagen executives are using the Paris auto show to tout future electric vehicles which Reuters said targeted Tesla.

Mueller, however, objected to the comparison: “How many cars do they sell per year? How many? Fifty thousand per year,” he said. “Do you know how many Volkswagen sells? 10 million! Why do we then talk of competition?”

Tesla has targeted 2016 sales of 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles, the news agency added.

Meanwhile, VW brand chief Herbert Diess said, at the show, he expected sales to rise this year.

“‎VW is getting back on track. We are dealing with the current challenges,” Diess said at a press conference, according to Reuters.