VW sales in U.S. fall 17% for worst May since 2010
Audi ekes out its 65th straight monthly sales record
WASHINGTON -- Continued weakness in car deliveries led Volkswagen of America to its worst May U.S. sales total since 2011, while luxury sibling Audi narrowly notched its 65th straight year-over-year monthly sales record last month.
In the eighth full month of the moratorium on sales of diesel-powered vehicles, the Volkswagen brand said May sales in the U.S. dropped 17 percent to 28,779 deliveries.
VW’s sales have declined each month since November amid industrywide waning demand for cars and the brand’s diesel stop-sale. Through five months of 2016, VW sold 125,205 vehicles, down 13 percent from the prior-year period.
The Tiguan compact crossover was VW’s only nameplate to see growth in May, posting a 43 percent gain to 4,394 deliveries.
Diesels accounted for about 20 percent of VW’s monthly sales before the company froze deliveries in September, when it admitted some 11 million diesels worldwide had software designed to fool government emissions tests.
The automaker reached an agreement in principle with U.S. authorities and consumers to settle many aspects of its 2.0-liter diesel emissions violations in April. Finalized versions of those deals will be made public by June 21, when they must be submitted to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco overseeing VW’s diesel-related litigation.
Audi of America, meanwhile, continued its record pace, selling 18,728 vehicles last month, a 1.6 percent gain.
Audi’s sales, just 300 more than its May 2015 total, were buoyed by high demand for crossovers amid a slowdown in car deliveries.
The Q3, Q5 and Q7 crossovers posted a combined 26 percent gain in May sales. Meanwhile, A3 compact sedan sales fell 13 percent while A4 sedan sales slipped 1 percent last month, despite the redesigned 2017 A4 arriving in showrooms in late March.
“With the all-new Audi Q7 and Audi Q3 setting records for the month, sales of Audi luxury SUVs show no sign of slowing down,” Audi of America COO Mark Del Rosso said in a statement. “Consumer interest across the Audi lineup indicates that we can expect to continue building momentum in the months ahead.”
Through five months, Audi’s sales were up 4.2 percent to 78,489.