Volkswagen sales tumble in Oct.

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Volkswagen sales tumble in Oct.

Plagued by the ongoing emissions-rigging scandal, Volkswagen saw its sales plunge in October.

The Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (Kaida) said on Thursday that Volkswagen’s sales in the last month dropped by 67.4 percent since September, from 2,901 to 947. It was the first time in 46 months that Volkswagen’s monthly sales fell below 1,000 units.

October’s year-on-year sales also dropped by 46 percent.

Volkswagen’s Tiguan 2.0 TDI Bluemotion SUV was the bestselling import in September with 771 sold, but the SUV didn’t even make the top 10 in October.

Audi, which is also under Volkswagen Group, saw similar results. Its sales dropped 27 percent month on month, from 3,401 to 2,482 units.

Impacted by sluggish sales at the two popular German brands, total import sales also dropped 14.5 percent month on month to 17,423 units - the lowest since February. The industry also saw the 66.3 percent share of the imported car market held by the Germans in September shrink to 60.9 percent last month.

By brand, Mercedes-Benz was the most popular import in October with 8,713 units sold, followed by BMW (3,156), Audi (2,482), Peugeot (1,071) and Volkswagen (947). By fuel, the market share of diesels declined by 4.3 percent from September, or from 13,826 to 11,057 units sold.

Meanwhile, the number of Volkswagen and Audi owners seeking compensation against Volkswagen Group has surpassed 1,000. Earlier this week, attorney Ha Jong-sun of Barun Law, which is representing the angry owners, said an additional 393 owners of vehicles equipped with either a 2.0 TDI, 1.6 TDI or 1.2 TDI diesel engine have joined the case on Monday, making the total number of plaintiffs 1,136.

“About 400 to 500 people will file a petition per week in next few weeks,” Ha said. “About 5,500 Audi and Volkswagen owners have sent the necessary documents for the case.”

The Korean consumers will demand the automaker refund the money they paid for their cars.

The scandal has only gotten bigger, with Volkswagen Group’s headquarters recently admitting to having found inconsistent emissions tests for the first time in its gasoline vehicles. It said about 800,000 cars had “unexplained inconsistencies” concerning their carbon dioxide output.

Volkswagen Korea has said there’s no way to determine whether or not these cars were sold in Korea until the automaker’s headquarters finishes its investigation.


BY KWON SANG-SOO [kwon.sangsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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