Post Dieselgate, VW Sales Are Going Strong

Despite the vast expense and negative publicity of the scandal, sales are looking up.

Volkswagen

Despite billions and billions of dollars worth of fines and repairs, Volkswagen is doing surprisingly well considering what it's been through the past couple of years. The company reported selling a total of 27,732 units in America during the month of October, an increase of 11.9 percent over October 2016. Year-to-date sales are up as well, as are sales of the new Atlas and Tiguan.

The new Tiguan, larger than the old model, is already selling better. Volkswagen differentiates sales between the new model and the old one, which is still being sold as the Tiguan Limited. In October VW sold 3,848 Tiguans, compared to 3,322 of the previous model last October. Year-to-date numbers aren't relevant because the Tiguan was updated mid-year.

The Atlas is an all-new model for Volkswagen. It sold 3,664 units in October, and 15,895 to date this year. This significantly contributes to VW's SUV sales, which consisted of more than 32 percent of VW's total volume in October. Americans want SUVs, and these new and revised models designed specifically for the American market appear to be working.

Volkswagen

Perhaps more surprising is that in a time when the four-door sedan seems to be a dying breed, the Jetta sold better in October than it has in the past three years. Sales were up to 9,217 Jettas in October, a 14.2 percent increase over last year. Year-to-date, 100,212 Jettas have been sold, a modest 2.4 percent increase over last year. Even more interesting is that this generation of the Jetta's days is numbered, with a short 2018 model year and a new version due to appear mid-2018 as a 2019 model. Sales of an outgoing model normally decline the year before a new model replaces it while people wait for the new one.

All of these gains have occurred before Volkswagen has begun to sell its new electrified models coming down the pike. Aside from the existing eGolf, whose sales are down, all of these winners are powered by VW's traditional gasoline engines. It will be interesting to see what happens when VW's new electric models appear. The I.D. Lounge and I.D. AEROe have been confirmed for the U.S. It would be foolish not to bring the new Microbus here. Will they add to Volkswagen's already impressive sales numbers, or begin replacing their internal combustion powered stablemates?