German automaker Volkswagen saw its sales in the United Kingdom fall by 13.9 percent in January, compared to the same month a year ago. The fourth consecutive dip in its monthly sales — since the company’s emissions-cheating device in its diesel cars came to light — happened even as sales of new cars in the U.K. grew by almost 3 percent.
January sales of the group’s Seat brand of cars reportedly fell by a huge 24.6 percent year-on-year, while sales of Skoda models dropped 2.4 percent. In contrast, registrations of its Audi-branded vehicles rose by a modest 1.4 percent, Reuters reported.
Volkswagen-branded vehicles had a 7.1 percent share of the overall market in January, compared to 8.5 percent a year ago, according to the Financial Times. That put the company in third place, behind Ford and Vauxhall, the Guardian reported. Despite the significant drop in sales, the German carmaker’s Golf was still in fifth place on the list of cars sold in the U.K. during January, while the Polo was seventh.
According to figures released Thursday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a U.K. automotive industry body, January recorded a 2.9 percent growth in overall new car sales, compared to a year ago. The registration of 169,678 cars was the country's highest figure for January since 2005.
Volkswagen was found guilty by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency in September of installing software in its diesel cars to cheat emissions norms. Since then, the company has come under investigation in various countries around the world and has recalled millions of cars made between 2009 and 2015.
The scandal forced the company's then-CEO, Martin Winterkorn, to resign while sales of its cars, as well as its share price, were severely hit. On Thursday, Volkswagen shares were trading lower by almost 1.5 percent on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.