Volkswagen brand saw its global sales drop 4 percent in November to 508,400 vehicles, as the passenger brand suffered from lower demand in Eastern Europe and Latin America and from the model change to a new-generation Passat. The decline in November marked fourth consecutive month of little or no volume growth at Volkswagen after the brand posted an almost flat growth in August and September and a 0.4-percent slide in October.
VW sales chief Christian Klingler remarked in a statement that he expects “challenging developments” on markets around the world to continue for the rest of this year, noting that the brand "was not entirely immune to their impact." Klingler admitted that the Passat model change affected sales of the VW brand.
VW has just commenced selling a new European version of the Passat. The model change has made customers wait for the next-generation Passat instead of buying the current version. Likewise, demand for a new volume model has tendency to start slow and build gradually.
Klinger remarked that the new Passat has been enjoying “a strong tailwind” since its rollout weeks ago. He quipped that VW is in a positive mood, given the Passat’s performance in comparison tests and the high level of orders from Europe.
The brand saw its sales drop 8 percent in central and Eastern Europe, with Russia declining 20 percent. VW also was not so lucky in Latin America, where it fell 18 percent in in the first 11 months of the year, with Brazil plunging a 13 percent drop.
The brand also logged a sales drop in North America in the first 11 months (6 percent), with deliveries in the United States diving 11 percent. [source: Volkswagen]