In the year since the revelation of Volkswagen’s catastrophic emissions cheating scandal last September, the German brand’s reputation has been left in shambles.
But as its reputation with many consumers lay in tatters, the brand’s sales have not only not cratered — it’s actually increased.
Over the same period this year, the brand sold 4,374,900 cars worldwide — an increase of 0.6%.
However, these figures are somewhat misleading. That’s because VW’s sales figures in almost all markets around the world have fallen so far this year. But none of that really matters because Chinese consumers love their Volkswagens.
This is something the powers-that-be at Volkswagen has noticed.
“Thanks to the strong performance in China, deliveries by Volkswagen in September were noticeably higher than the previous year,”Jürgen Stackmann said in a statement. “Consequently, our deliveries for the period from January to September exceeded the 2015 level.”
So far this year, VW has sold 2.13 million cars in the Middle Kingdom which represents 48.8% of the brand’s total global sales.
According to VW, much of its 11.4% year-over-year growth can be attributed to the hot sales of its Lavida, Sagitar, Jetta, and Santana sedans. In fact, these represent four of the seven best selling cars in China last month.
VW’s strength in the Chinese market can be linked to the company’s long standing relationship with the country’s car buyers that dates back to the early 1980s with original Santana sedan. Also, Volkswagen and VW Group cars remain popular options as Chinese Government procured runabouts.
In addition, the brand’s Chinese offerings are almost exclusively gasoline powered. This means that VW’s operations in the country were not really exposed to the 2.o litre, diesel, four-cylinder engine at the heart of the scandal that affected more than 11 million cars worldwide. In fact, only 1,950 cars were affected in China, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the Journal, Chinese consumers have purchased a whopping 16.75 million new cars over the first nine months of the year — an increase of 15% over the same period in 2015.