Volkswagen Posts 25 Percent Sales Drop In November, Worst Decline Since 2008

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After a surprisingly decent couple of sales months in spite of everything, it seems the Dieselgate scandal has finally taken its toll on Volkswagen’s sales figures. The embattled automaker just posted a 25 percent year-over-year drop in sales for November, its biggest decline since the peak of the recession.


Automotive News reports Volkswagen’s November sales numbers dropped to 23,882 vehicles, its second-lowest month of 2015 and the steepest sales decline since September of 2008.

The problem, AN reports, is that VW’s sales decline isn’t just limited to the TDI models they cannot sell anymore:

The November decline reflects a 2,381-unit reduction in sales of non-diesel models in addition to shortfalls caused by the TDI sales freeze, which last month grew to include Touareg SUVs powered by the 3.0-liter V-6 diesel in addition to the 2.0-liter models that were grounded in September.


In November 2014, back when things were shiny and beautiful and buyers were blissfully unaware that their TDIs were emitting oxides of nitrogen many times over the limit, VW’s U.S. sales were around 31,000 cars and diesels accounted for more than 5,000 of those cars.

Now, due to the Environmental Protection Agency having removed the certifications of 2016 TDI models until they are brought into compliance, the diesel VWs cannot be sold at all. This has meant a big drop in VW’s sales figures.

More than that, non-TDI gasoline models were down 9 percent year-over-year as well—the Passat dropped a whopping 60 percent—indicating that even with generous incentives, at least some buyers could be getting turned off to the brand.

A few weeks ago VW submitted their proposed diesel fixes to the EPA and California Air Resources Board for evaluation. Those plans have not been made public yet. I’m sure VW hopes they’ll be approved soon.


Photo credit AP

Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that November’s sales drop represented the steepest sales decline since 2008, not the worst month since 2008.


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