Volkswagen’s Global Sales Take a Tumble as Major Markets Stumble

Europe’s new emissions testing procedure is taking a big hit at VW, where the brand reports that its sales dropped 36.5% last month as compared to the same month the year before. Lagging sales in North America and China, though, were no help as the brand lost 18% of its sales globally last month.

Naturally, the group anticipated that the WLTP would hamper its sales, Dr. Christian Dahlheim, head of group sales, argues that VW is still in good shape for the year.

“So far this year, the Volkswagen Group has reported record deliveries,” says Dahlheim. “Following the very strong summer months, we expected lower deliveries in September, both in the overall market and for the Volkswagen Group, as a result of the WLTP changeover.”

The changeover, he continues, will continue to affect the brand’s sales in October, but he predicts that things will pick up in November and December.

As a result of the strong summer months, the Group’s sales remain up by 4.2% so far this year, with the group moving nearly 325,000 more cars this year.

Again on the positive side, South American—and in particular Brazilian—sales are bucking the September trend and rising mightily. In Brazil, an important market for VW, sales are up nearly 30%. That said, they didn’t have to do much to grow, since the Brazilian economy was weak last year.

With sales falling in China, North America, and Europe, though, the trend is an alarming one for VW and may go some way to explaining Herbert Diess’s recent negative tone.