- Diesel-emissions issue has limited effect, CEO said Monday
- TrueCar had estimated February decline would be 11 percent
Volkswagen AG’s namesake brand reported a U.S. sales decline for the fourth straight month as the German automaker struggles to attract consumers after the diesel-emission cheating scandal that began in September.
The deliveries slid 13 percent in February, Volkswagen said in a statement Tuesday, after dropping 15 percent in January. Last month’s decrease was wider than the 11 percent estimate by TrueCar Inc. Jetta sales fell 13 percent and Passat deliveries dropped 31 percent. Sales of the Tiguan sport utility vehicle jumped 78 percent.
“We were pleased to see increased retail sales at our dealerships in February, supported by vehicles like the Tiguan,” Mark McNabb, chief operating officer of Volkswagen of America, said in the statement. “Even though overall sales were down due to seasonal fleet business, we are encouraged by showroom activity this month.”
Volkswagen stopped deliveries of most diesel-powered vehicles after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed in September that the company admitted to installing devices meant to defeat emissions tests. The diesel issue has had limited impact on sales, Matthias Mueller, the automaker’s Volkswagen’s chief executive officer, said at a press conference Monday at the Geneva International Motor Show. The company expects a report on the scandal in April, Chairman Hans Dieter said at the conference.
Volkswagen’s American depository receipts rose 3 percent to $28.23 at 11:02 a.m. in New York. They fell 24 percent from Sept. 18, when the emissions cheating was revealed, through Monday.