One month into Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, it appears that the German automaker’s sales haven’t taken a significant hit.
Although dealerships in the U.S. and Canada are unable to sell any diesel vehicles, there hasn’t been a mass exodus from showrooms, thanks to dealer and customer incentives. The stop-sale on diesel vehicles is taking a small toll, but as one dealership owner says, “It’s not a meltdown, but it’s not business as usual.” Compared to September 2014, sales actually rose last month by 145 units to 26,141. For the first two weeks of October, however, dealerships are reporting mixed results. Last year, Volkswagen U.S. dealers sold 30,312 new vehicles in October and to beat that this month, they’ll need to see an increase of 16 percent from September.
That sales increase will have to be done without being able to sell any diesel vehicles, which accounts for about 20 percent of Volkswagen’s U.S. sales this year. Some stores are seeing customers purchasing standard gasoline models in lieu of diesels.
Perhaps more telling is that interest in the brand has dropped among online shoppers. KBB.com reports that Volkswagen brand traffic dropped 13 percent from the same period in 2014 and other sites are seeing traffic fall to an all-time low for the brand.
[Source: Automotive News]
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