Just when you thought the worst was over for Volkswagen following the company’s unprecedented emissions scandal, something comes along to shatter that illusion.
Attention on the stricken automaker has faded somewhat in the last few weeks, as the media spotlight moved away from the company, but now it is had been made patently clear the public has not forgotten VW’s problems.
On Friday, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders released its monthly data on how the UK’s auto market is performing, and the news for VW was not good.
In November, sales for the German manufacturer plunged by 20%. That’s despite an overall increase in sales of 8% in the UK month-on-month.
The emissions scandal broke in September and affected millions of Volkswagen cars worldwide ,as well as hugely tarnishing VW’s reputation. While sales didn’t have time to be affected in September, October saw a drop of nearly 10% in Volkswagen’s UK sales.
Things have gotten even worse for sales though, and the 20% drop means that VW’s market share has also fallen substantially. At the same time in 2014, VW’s made up 9.4% of all UK car sales, but now just 7.24% of cars bought on British shores are made by the car giant, a beacon of German industry.
The VW Golf and the Audi A3 both stayed in the top ten most popular cars sold in the UK, but the VW Polo, which was the seventh best-selling car in October, has dropped off the list.
Total car sales in the UK performed pretty well last month, growing by 3.8% from the same period in 2014. This marks a big recovery from October’s sales, which fell by 1.1%, the first monthly fall in UK sales for nearly four years.
In total, 178,876 new cars were registered in November, with Ford and Vauxhall the most popular manufacturers, selling over 20,000 cars each, and claiming a combined 23% of the market.
Commenting on the overall figures for the UK automarket, Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive said: “November’s figures come as a reminder of the strength of the UK car market, as low interest rates and competitive finance deals continue to attract consumers to new car ownership.”