Volkswagen’s sales in the U.K. dropped by a fifth in November as demand for the German manufacturer’s cars fell in the wake of the diesel emissions-rigging scandal, industry data showed Friday.
Official data from Britain’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that new car registrations of VW-branded models fell 20 percent year-on-year November. This is the second consecutive month of decline in sales for Volkswagen in the U.K., after the company reportedly registered a continual growth for 43 months straight.
According to Friday's data, all of Volkswagen’s main brands recorded significant drops, with Audi sales falling 4 percent, Seat 24 percent and Skoda 11 percent. The decline in Volkswagen sales was in contrast to the wider U.K. market, where automobile sales were up 3.8 percent in November. The company has lost more than a fifth of its market value in the past 3 months following the emissions scandal.
In the aftermath of the scandal, Volkswagen's U.S. sales tanked 25 percent in November. The company has stopped selling its diesel models there, which accounted for 21 percent of its sales in the country before the crisis. The company also faces regulatory action in other parts of the world like India and South Korea for falsifying emission levels and fuel efficiency figures.
Despite the global decline, Volkswagen’s sales in South Korea jumped by 377 percent in November compared to October, largely propelled by the German automaker’s aggressive marketing efforts — such as deep discounts and a generous installment program, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“If we include those buyers who signed a contract in November but haven’t registered their cars yet, the sales figures would rise further. Many people think now is a good time to own a foreign car at bargain,” Kevin Seo, a Volkswagen Korea representative, told the Journal.
While the company’s South Korean sales dipped 67 percent in October amid uncertainty over the scandal, consumers’ affection for European brands reportedly helped Volkswagen sales swing to a monthly record-high in November. November sales were also up 66 percent compared to a year ago.
The emissions scandal, which could see the German company recalling up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, broke out in the U.S. on Sept. 18, where it was reported that the company violated norms by fitting a cheating software to pass emissions tests in the country. Analysts have said that the cost of fines, lawsuits and vehicle refits caused by Volkswagen's rigging of diesel emission levels tests worldwide could top 40 billion euros ($42 billion).