Volkswagen Denies Sales Slump After Dieselgate Confessions, Considers Dropping Soccer Sponsorships

Illustration for article titled Volkswagen Denies Sales Slump After Dieselgate Confessions, Considers Dropping Soccer Sponsorships

German manufacturer Volkswagen denied a report from newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Saturday concerning a sales slump following its confessions about cheating emissions earlier this month, but the company may still drop its support of several soccer sponsorships to cut costs.


While the two events are not directly related, VW had another interesting weekend in the saga of Dieselgate. The German newspaper reported significant declines in company sales, quoting an unnamed dealer who described business as “dead as a doornail.”

VW disagreed. From Reuters:

“We cannot confirm the statement quoted in FAZ,” a spokesman for Volkswagen told Reuters in an e-mailed statement.

“The feedback we are receiving from discussions with representatives of various dealerships across the country, as well as the numbers we have, paint a different picture of the situation in Germany,” he added.

In addition to newspaper reports on sales, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that VW’s sponsorships of several soccer clubs in an effort to cut costs. The company announced its intention to cut captial investment by $1 billion on Friday in preparation to cover costs for fines, lawsuits, recalls and the like.

The soccer clubs that may lose VW sponsorship are all part of the Bundesliga league, as the newspaper included Hannover 96, Werder Bremen, Schalke 04 and second-division 1860 Munich in its report. Not listed in the lineup for potentially losing sponsorship is VfL Wolfsburg, which plays in the Volkswagen Arena and wears VW as its main sponsor.

According to Reuters, VW called soccer a “major pillar” for sponsorship strategies that the company would continue in the future. But, just how much sponsorship will continue—that decision is for another time. From Reuters:

“It has not yet been decided what the volume of that will be,” [VW] said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday.


Photo credit: AP Photo/Martin Meissner

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I’ve never understood manufacturers sponsoring ball sports teams.