VW left in the dust as European car sales soar

December 16, 2015, 4:43am

AFP on Business Day Live, photo: Wikipedia commons

PARIS — European car sales soared 13.7% in November but scandal-plagued Volkswagen trailed the pack with only a 4.1% increase, data from a trade industry body showed on Tuesday.

While VW still remained by far the top car maker in Europe by sales, it had the smallest monthly percentage gain of all car makers, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association data showed.

VW has been embroiled in scandal since September, when it admitted it had installed emission-cheating software in 11-million diesel engine vehicles worldwide.

The scandal could easily cost the company tens of billions of euros in repair costs and fines, and there has been concern that it could crimp future sales.

The company said last week that worldwide sales of all of its 12 different brands fell 2.2% in November.

Although VW’s European sales still rose in November, its market share slid to 24.3% from 26.6% in November last year.

Over the 11 months of the year, European new car registrations — a proxy for sales — rose 8.7% to 12.6-million vehicles, already beating the number sold in 2014.

"Nevertheless, this result is only now reaching the levels registered in immediate post-crisis years," the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said in a statement.

The 1.08-million vehicles sold in November is still far from the more than 1.2-million vehicles sold during that month in 2006 and 2007, before the global economic crisis struck.