Volkswagen has never really taken off here in the U.S. Yes, it has many loyal fans, and some of its products are true icons. That does not change the fact the VW was one of the first “foreign” automakers to give it a go here in the American market and after more than a half-century of effort is one of the smallest automakers in the country regarding sales. If November is any gauge, VW may indeed become the smallest mainstream automaker in the U.S. Soon.
For November, VW America’s sales were down 25% to just 23,882 vehicles. Subaru sold twice as many cars in the U.S. as VW last month. Yes, Subaru, the quirky car for Northerners with the roof racks and the skidplates outsold VW, who just a couple of months ago was the world’s largest-selling automaker globally. Mazda is within about a month of passing VW in sales. If Mazda had moved less than a thousand vehicles more last month, it would have already.
Torque News is not the only automotive publication that noticed. Nicole Wakelin at BestRide pointed out in her report that VW’s sales drop last month was its worst since the Great Depression. Autoweek reporter Ryan Beene used as his lede,“ Volkswagen brand dealers are bracing for another month of pain…”
Yes, the ever-expanding dirty diesel scandal has pushed VW very close to the point of no return. Or no return worth the effort. To its credit, VW didn’t try to BS its way through the monthly sales report summary. Rather, it included in its comments, “The November sales results reflect the impact of the recent stop-sale for all 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI vehicles as well as for the 3.0L V6. The voluntary stop-sales were issued in light of notices received by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regarding emissions compliance. Volkswagen is working tirelessly on an approved remedy for the affected TDI vehicles.” VW went on to note that the all-new Passat launched in November. Passat sales were down 60.4% for the month.