Volkswagen Registers Record Sales In 2017 Despite Dieselgate
Volkswagen Group was embroiled in a massive emissions scandal going back many years. Despite having to pay penalties and losing customer trust, VAG actually sold more cars in 2017 than in the previous year.
Volkswagen was badly hit due to Dieselgate scandal, which saw the German automotive giant cheat on emissions tests and later be uncovered by various automotive regulatory authorities across the globe. The scandal resulted in the ousting of Martin Winterkorn, then CEO of VAG. The group sold 11 million vehicles that were fitted with ‘defeat device’ software code that allowed the cars to cheat on official emissions certificates. VAG ended up paying fines to the tune of $18 billion to the US regulatory authority alone, plus many other firms worldwide.
Despite a scandal of such proportions and timeline, Volkswagen seems to have still retained the trust of its consumers, and raked in more last year. The group registered sales of a total of 6.2 million cars, which is an increase of 4.2% over the number of cars sold in 2016. Although the increase is modest at best, it still is better than going the other way and losing sales for VAG. It’s not all good news for the group though, as sales in the US were low in the month of December itself, a drop of 19% compared to December 2017. Diesel sedan sales were also down in Europe, eating slightly into VW’s growth chart.
“Based on economic forecasts and our plans for new models, there is no reason to expect that 2018 should turn worse than 2017,” VW brand sales chief Juergen Stackmann said on Sunday at the 2018 NAIAS Detroit. Reuters reports that VW will announce deliveries for its automaker group as a whole, which includes Audi and Porsche, on Wednesday.