VW Sales Dip in December, but Up for the Year

It was an anything but auspicious end to 2017, but that couldn’t stop the overall sales for the year from rising, as compared to 2016.

Volkswagen of America’s December sales dipped lower than the temperature, with nearly every car in the range failing to outsell itself. The result was an 18.7% drop as compared to last year, with the Touareg (+22%) being the only vehicle spared from a drop.

Meanwhile, sales for the year were up 5.2%. Here again, though, there were multiple cars on the wrong side of the 2017 to 2016 comparison.

Even the Jetta was down nearly 5% for the year, though the imminence of its replacement (set to debut later this month at the Detroit auto show) may have contributed to the flagging sales.

The Golf family, meanwhile, was only spared the same fate because of the wildly popular SportWagen, which outdid itself by more than 70% this year.

The two new SUVs—the new Tiguan and the Atlas—were undoubtedly helpful for the brand this year. Since this was their first year in production, all sales were gravy on top of the previous year’s sales.

And with sales for the two totaling more than 48,000 units, they were the difference between rising sales and steeply declining sales of nearly 10%–though that doesn’t take into account the sales that the new Tiguan took from the old one.

Still, though sales don’t look great for the Golf or the Jetta, it is at least proof that the Volkswagen SUV strategy is working. And with a new Jetta and an Arteon to look forward to in 2018, things are at least looking up.