Volkswagen Group of America Inc, the U.S. unit of Volkswagen AG (FRA:VOW3), said Monday it sold 1,064 fewer vehicles in the U.S. in June compared to the same month last year, a 3.2 percent decrease to 35,957 units as American consumers gravitated toward small sedans sold by American car manufacturers.
Volkswagen missed estimates from auto intelligence providers Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book and TrueCar.com by a considerable margin, as all three expected sales in the low 50,000s.
"For the half of 2013, Volkswagen sales declined roughly 1 percent year-over-year. Competition remains fierce in Volkswagen’s key compact and alternative-fuel segments, with growth in the second half of the year expected to remain flat,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley BLue Book. "Strength among the Jetta and Passat were offset by a significant decline in the Golf, as shoppers hold out for the 2014 redesign expected to drop later this year."
With no pickup models to ride the crest of the boom in truck sales, Volkswagen was left with just the Jetta, Beetle and Passat -- the only three of the German automaker’s dozen models to have sales growth last month. Volkswagen is coming off a great year in 2012, but has seen stiff competition for its popular brands since the start of the year.
The company is betting that sales will pick up for its clean diesel TDI technology, which is achieving hybrid-like economy while retaining un-hybrid-like German performance and design.
“Volkswagen achieved a number of sales milestones in June, including our best-ever TDI Clean Diesel sales, a strong indication of our leadership in this area and growing consumer demand for our fuel efficient technologies,” said Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO.
The Golf group was unable to make gains despite the critical acclaim for the GTI, with June sales dropping 22.5 percent from June 2012. Meanwhile, sales for both Ford and GM rose considerably in this category and in compact sedans in general, especially for the Ford Fiesta and the Chevy Cruze.