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VW sales in United States hit by emissions scandal

04 november 2015, 14:45
0
The logo of German car maker Volkswagen. ©AFP
The logo of German car maker Volkswagen. ©AFP

Volkswagen sales in the US market appeared to take a hit last month from the company's huge emissions scandal, coming in flat amid overall sales that grew about 11.5 percent, AFP reports.

The German giant, the world's second-largest automaker, said Tuesday that it had sold 30,387 Volkswagen-brand cars in the United States in October.

That was just 0.24 percent over a year ago, while rivals like General Motors and Ford registered double-digit growth in what proved for US automakers their best month since 2001.

Mark McNabb, chief operating officer of Volkswagen of America, acknowledged the challenge the company is facing.

"We would like to again thank our customers for their patience and loyalty," he said in a statement.

"Volkswagen is committed to making things right and actively working to restore trust."

The emissions-cheating scandal involves only cars with diesel engines, which historically have made up only a small part of US sales for the company.

But US sales of diesel cars, like the Jetta TDI and Golf TDI, were halted after the scandal broke in September.

Volkswagen did not give a breakdown of sales by car and engine model, so it was not possible to determine where sales sagged the most.

Sales of the Golf family of small cars were up 40.2 percent from a year ago. Jetta family sales were down 41.5 percent.

Sales of VW sport utility vehicles -- the Touareg and Tiguan -- soared in the month.

But analysts said that, without the scandal -- in which the company was shown to have placed "defeat devices" on the cars' pollution controls to cheat US emissions tests -- overall sales should have been much better.

"In this year of booming auto sales, no automaker should be relieved to see flat year-over-year performance, but this may be the best that Volkswagen can hope for this month," said Edmunds senior analyst Jessica Caldwell.


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