Volkswagen scandal hits sales of all imported dieselsSales of diesel-powered cars hit a record low last month, after consecutive scandals damaged the brand image of major diesel providers, including Volkswagen. According to the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association, new registration of imported cars in the domestic market totaled 11,057 last month. This is the lowest rate since last October, which recorded 11,001 registrations. Especially in the case of Volkswagen, new registrations plummeted from September’s 2,901 cars to 947 in October. As for Audi, an affiliate brand of the Volkswagen automotive group, registrations declined from 3,401 cars to 2,482 last month.
Volkswagen Korea has been striving to turn the situation around by launching a promotion with unprecedented discount rates. However, some point out that the strategy is hurting the industry since “dumping” cars may ultimately result in price decreases in the used-car market. In fact, a 2014 Volkswagen Golf, which cost 27.85 million won ($24,000) until July, saw its value fall as low as 25.80 million won in October.
“The recent sales decrease is only the beginning,” said Lee Ho-geun, a professor of automotive engineering at Daeduk College. “After the Ministry of Environment releases the inspection results, the damage in the industry will be visible.”