Baku, January 11, AZERTAC
Volkswagen AG said on Friday its world-wide sales declined in 2015 for the first time since 2002 in the wake of an emissions-cheating scandal that hit the company in September, according to The Wall Street Journal.
December sales dropped 5.2% to 834,800 vehicles, while full-year sales declined 2% to 9.9 million cars. Volkswagen was the world’s second largest auto maker in 2014, just behind Toyota Motor Corp.
Chief Executive Matthias Müller said the results were positive given the current circumstances. “Delivering almost 10 million vehicles is an excellent result, particularly in view of the continued challenging market situation in some regions as well as the diesel issue in the final quarter of last year,” Mr. Müller said.
In September, Volkswagen admitted to installing software in nearly 11 million diesel vehicles world-wide that allowed them to perform better on emissions tests than on the road. The scandal has affected the company’s namesake Volkswagen brand, Audi, Porsche, Seat, Skoda and its commercial vehicles brands.
In 2015, improving European demand helped to offset sharply lower sales for Volkswagen in South America, where sales in Brazil plunged more than 38%. Its sales in Russia dropped 37% last year.
The company’s sales in Western Europe overall rose 4.8% last year, and 2.5% in all of Europe.
Volkswagen’s China sales fell 2.1% in December, falling 3.4% for all of 2015 to about 3.55 million vehicles. Rival General Motors Co. topped Volkswagen in China last year, selling a record 3.61 million vehicles. GM reported a 14% increase in December sales and a 5.2% increase for the year.