Volkswagen’s global sales fall after scandal

Hit by emissions test scandal, Volkswagen announces decline in global sales, but German consumers remain loyal to their biggest car maker

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

The Volkswagen Group announced Friday that global sales of its VW brand cars decreased by 4.5 percent in the first 11 months of the year, as the company is still struggling to cope with an emissions test scandal.

From January to November in 2015, the German carmaker has delivered 5.34 million vehicles to customers worldwide, down from 5.59 million in the same period last year.

The biggest decrease in the sales of Volkswagen Group’s flagship VW brand has been in Russia with a 38.3 percent decline, followed by Brazil, with 36 percent.

In the US, where the cheating emissions software of VW was first uncovered in September, sales decreased by 24.7 percent in November, compared with the same month last year.

In the first 11 months of this year, 318,500 VW cars were sold in the US.

Despite the scandal, VW has managed to increase its sales in Germany by 3.7 percent in November. It sold 52,700 cars last month, bringing its total sales in first 11 months to 555,800.

Jurgen Stackmann, board member of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, said on Friday that the decrease in global sales was influenced by the economic decline in the Brazilian and Russian markets.

But he spoke optimistically about the future, stressing that in China, VW’s largest single market, the company had increased its sales significantly by 8.6 percent in November.

"The effects of the tense situation on world markets continue. Customers are remaining loyal to Volkswagen during a challenging phase," he argued in a press release.

VW is the flagship brand of the Volkswagen Group, which also owns other popular brands including Audi, SEAT, Skoda and Porsche.

Since September this year, the Volkswagen Group is struggling to cope with emissions test scandal, which has affected around 12 million vehicles around the world.

On September 18, the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to Volkswagen Group, after it was found that the automaker had intentionally installed a emissions-test cheating software.

The software caused the vehicles' nitrogen oxide output to meet US standards during regulatory testing, but actually produced up to 40 times higher emissions on the road.

Volkswagen had announced that it will refit around 12 million cars worldwide that were equipped with software that cheated emission tests.