VW sales up in 2016 despite emissions scandal image

The Volkswagen Group has revealed its global sales numbers for the first quarter of 2016, having sold more than 2.5 million cars in the first three months of this year.

Compared to last year, the car group has seen a 0.8% rise, a surprising growth taking into consideration the massive emissions scandal and the negative publicity it has been going through.

The group registered a 3.3% rise in new registrations in Europe from January to March, with 1.5% only in Germany. China was however the top gainer as sales went up 6.4% there. On the negative side, sales in South America went down 27.6%, in Russia new car sales decreased 16.3%, North America also witnessed a drop of 2.1% and the U.S.A. new car sales went down 5.7%.

The Volkswagen passenger cars brand was the only one to see a decrease in sales of 1.3%. The Audi, Skoda, SEAT, Porsche brands and the commercial vehicles ones all did well and increased the group’s overall sales.

This week Volkswagen has to meet its U.S. deadline for a solution for its 500,000 diesel cars there that need to be fixed after defeat devices were found which would be used to cheat through emissions tests. In the meantime, the recall process in U.K. is under way, as fixes for all the affected cars have been approved.

The German carmaker announced that its chiefs were aware of the fact that the brand was cheating in emissions tests more than a year prior to the public scandal. The auto manufacturer did confirm that former CEO Martin Winterkorn was informed of the possibility for the company to face an emissions probe from the U.S. authorities. Winterkorn had previously denied any awareness of the issue.