After the first full month since the emissions scandal became public, Volkswagen’s European market share dropped as its sales declined last month.
Volkswagen European sales accounted for 25.2 percent of new-car registration in October, compared with 26.1 percent in the last period of 2014, said in a statement the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. The drop in market share is in line with a 0.8 percent decrease in VW’s sales in Europe, the first drop in region since May. “The main factor in this deceleration in fortunes appears to be the fallout from VW’s emissions scandal,” Kristina Church and Charles Coldicott, analysts at Barclays Plc, said, based on figures from the region’s five biggest markets. The downward trend was noticeable even before the start of the scandal, as the German automaker was losing market share to its main rivals.
To counteract the downfall, VW increased the discounts offered, for an average 11.2 percent of the retail price of cars in Germany, according to trade publication Autohaus PulsSchlag. The discount policy has continued in November, and Volkswagen “seems to be aggressively targeting corporate buyers in an effort to counter the diesel scandal,” Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer and Karsten Neuberger of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen wrote in a report this month.
“The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is experiencing challenging times. We not only face the diesel and CO2 issues, but also tense situations on world markets,” also admitted Jurgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand responsible for Sales, Marketing and After-Sales. “In Western Europe, the temporary sales stops for vehicles affected by the diesel issue had an impact on sales”, he added.