Volkswagen USA Sales Were Declining Rapidly Before Diesel Emissions Scandal

In 2012, Volkswagen’s U.S. sales volume rose to the highest level since 1973. Through the first quarter of 2013, sales had risen in 31 consecutive months. Volkswagen Of America’s market share grew from 1.4% in 2007 to 3.0% in 2012.

But then came 18 consecutive months of year-over-year U.S. sales decline for the Volkswagen brand, consecutive annual decreases in 2013 and 2014, and a market share drop back to 2.2%. As Volkswagen sales plunged, the overall U.S. market surged.

“Following 2012’s elation,” I wrote on TTAC today, “all of these disappointments came before we learned that the 2.0-liter diesel engine fitted to more than one-in-five Volkswagen of America products is a scandal-ridden, emissions-test-cheating, NOx-spewing anchor around VW’s neck.”


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The most recent evidence of disappointment came in the form of August 2015’s sales results. Here they are in full, directly from VWoA’s release from Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

VW August 2015 August 2014 % change 2015 YTD 2014 YTD % change
Golf
1,873
1,773
5.6%
15,000
7,175
109%
GTI
1,907
2,026
-5.9%
14,992
10,524
42.5%
Golf R
436
—  
2,239
15
14,827%
e-Golf
381
2,212
Golf SportWagen
2,478
—-  
10,073
Total Golf Family
7,075
3,799
86.2%
44,516
17,714
151%
Jetta Sedan
11,002
13,406
-17.9%
87,047
90,162
-3.5%
Jetta SportWagen
110
1,955
-94.4%
2,645
14,648
-81.9%
Total Jetta
11,112
15,361
-27.7%
89,692
104,810
-14.4%
Beetle Coupe
1,287
1,744
-26.2%
9,846
12,265
-19.7%
Beetle Convertible
840
1,161
-27.6%
7,681
9,220
-16.7%
Total Beetle
2,127
2,905
-26.8%
17,527
21,485
-18.4%
Eos
208
302
-31.1%
1,800
2,603
-30.8%
Passat
7,409
9,190
-19.4%
56,508
67,633
-16.4%
CC
546
787
-30.6%
4,106
7,530
-45.5%
Tiguan
3,165
2,151
47.1%
19,249
17,446
10.3%
Touareg
690
686
0.6%
4,676
4,554
2.7%
Routan
— 
1,103
-100%
Total
32,332
35,181
-8.1%
238,074
244,878
-2.8%

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.