U.S. sales look good for European brands as well, except Volkswagen image

Most European brands reported strong August sales save for VW – the largest-volume European brand in the U.S. – which reported sales were down 1.6% from a year ago to 40,342.

Still, Passat mid-size sedan sales were best for any August. And VW’s TDI sales accounted for a remarkable 30.4% off all VW-brand sales in the month – the best August ever – and an astounding 43.8% of Passat sales. So far this year, diesels account for 24.3% of VW sales.

“Volkswagen is unfortunately caught between product cycles on its volume models just as industry sales are taking off,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “This has the brand struggling to make headway against fresher designs in a highly competitive market… the next Golf and Tiguan can’t arrive soon enough.”

On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz reported record August sales of 27,144 units, up 15.8% for its Mercedes-Benz, Sprinter truck and Smart minicar brands; Porsche reported sales rose 10% from a year ago to an all-time August record in the U.S. of 3,327. Year-to-date Porsche sales are 28,456, up 28%. The same can be said about Audi, which posted sales of 14,005 vehicles, a 21.5% increase over the previous August record set last year. Jaguar just saw its best sale month since 2005, and things looked pretty good at Land Rover as well. Combined, they were up 40%.