VW Emissions Scandal Hurts November Sales

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Worldwide sales of Volkswagen vehicles fell 2.2% in November to 833,700 units. U.S. sales fell 15.3% in the month, and global sales of VW passenger cars fell 2.4%. The company has stopped selling its diesel-powered cars in the United States following revelations that the company was cheating on emissions tests.

Oddly, perhaps, sales in Germany rose 4.4% and in Western Europe as a whole sales rose 2.4%. Sales in China also rose, up 5.5% with 329,000 units sold. No other country buys more Volkswagen cars than China, and the emissions scandal has not had as much impact on sales there as it has in the United States.

Sales in Russia fell 34.6% year over year in November, and Brazilian sales were down 51%, but both are largely the result of terrible economies.

Audi sales rose 1% globally year over year to 147,700 units in November.


For the first time ever, Porsche sales have topped 200,000 for a year. In the first 11 months of 2015, the company delivered 209,900 units. Sales are up 30% year to date in both Europe and the company’s Asia-Pacific-Africa-Middle East regions. U.S. Porsche sales are up 9%, and global sales are up 24% year over year. For the month of November, Porsche sales were down 5% in the United States and 4% in the Americas region, the only region to post a decline last month.

Last Wednesday, Volkswagen said that nine of its 2016 model year diesel-powered VW cars have been proven by internal testing to meet their published CO2 emissions numbers. The company also noted:

These model variants will be remeasured by a neutral technical service under the supervision of the appropriate authority by Christmas. In cases where the correctness of original figures is confirmed, there will be no consequences. These cars can be offered for sale by dealers without any reservations. In the case of any deviations, the figures will be adjusted in the future in the course of the normal processes as required.

Whether that will be enough to turn sales around in the United States remains to be seen. As we’ve noted before, U.S. sales of diesel-powered vehicles represent only a tiny share of total U.S. car sales.