Volkswagen of America said on Tuesday that January sales fell 14.57 percent year-on-year, while official registration data showed an 8.8 percent decrease of its passenger cars sales in Germany.
The start of the year is not very encouraging for the Volkswagen brand, as it still fighting with the effects of the emissions scandal. Even if Mark McNabb, chief operating officer at Volkswagen of America, said that “January sales numbers were down due to the seasonal nature of the fleet business,” the 14.57 percent drop was quite a significant one. “Despite that and the weather conditions in the Northeast portion of the country, Volkswagen dealers improved in terms of retail business,” he added. The German brand delivered 20,079 vehicles in the US in January.
Volkswagen is not doing any better in its homeland market either. Data released by Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority KBA showed that German passenger car registrations in January rose to 218,365 vehicles, marking a 3,3 percent rise for Europe’s largest market. From that total, Volkswagen’ passenger cars accounted for 47,147 cars, an 8.8 percent decrease over a year earlier, a clear sign of the cheating scandal’s impact on the brand. By contrast, Audi marked a hefty 22.5 percent rise in sales, reaching to 21,741 cars last month. Opel, which recently launched a new version of its Astra, which is a rival to VW’s Golf, saw its German car sales jump 22 percent to 16,549 units and registrations of Ford vehicles rose 19.2 percent to 14,945 vehicles, the KBA data showed.
Separately, Volkswagen announced on Tuesday it has started implementing technical measures for EA189 diesel engines in Europe. The recall has now begun with the 2.0 TDI engine in the Volkswagen Amarok. The installation of a new engine control software means that the pickup now meets the limits required to comply with the EU5 emissions standard. Following in a few weeks’ time, in addition to the variants of the Passat, there will be other models with the affected 2.0 TDI engines as well. The modification of the 1.2-litre engines affected is scheduled for the end of the second quarter. Completing the recall, the measures for vehicles with a 1.6-litre engine will be carried out from the third quarter of 2016.