Volkswagen sales went over a cliff in November. According to Automotive News, VW sales last month dropped 25 percent to 23,882 vehicles. The only month with worse numbers this year was January, when most of America was entombed in massive snow drifts and couldn’t get out of the house. It was the steepest monthly decline for the Volkswagen brand since the global recession of 2008/09.
Volkswagen’s latest chief operating office for America, Mark McNabb, blamed much of the decline on the fact that his company has issued stop sale orders on so many cars currently sitting on VW dealers’ lots. The order prohibits the sale include all 4 cylinder TDI models, as well as the VW Touareg with the V-6 diesel engine.
“Volkswagen is working tirelessly on an approved remedy for the affected TDI vehicles,” McNabb said. “During this time we would like to thank our dealers and customers for their continued patience and loyalty.”
We’re not sure what patience McNabb is referring to here. Sales of the once popular Jetta were off 23 percent and deliveries of the Passat midsize sedan fell a whopping 60 percent. There were a few bright spots, however. Sales of Volkswagen smallest crossover, the Tiguan, surged 88 percent, while both the e-Golf and the GTI hatchback were up 3 percent overall.
Audi’s sister brand, Audi, has seen its sales growth slow a bit since the summer months, but Audi of America chief Mark Del Rosso says he still expects his company to set a new record for sales in the US this year. He thinks Audi could break 200,000 sales for the first time. Audi relies less on the sale of diesel engine vehicles in the US market than Volkswagen does, but the offending V-6 diesel engine used in the Taureg is also used in Audi Q5, Q7, A6, A7 and A8L vehicles. Americans in general do not associate diesel power with luxury automobiles the way European buyers do.
Volkswagen has submitted proposals to the EPA and CARB to fix the almost half million non-conforming diesel cars it sold in the US over the past 7 years. It is still waiting for those agencies to either approve or reject those suggestions.
Photo credit: Jalopnik.