WASHINGTON -- Volkswagen of America posted a 24 percent gain in November sales, breaking a yearlong streak of falling sales and signaling that the worst retail effects of its diesel emissions scandal may be over.
VW’s 12-month sales slide began in November last year, aiding this month’s comparison. VW delivered 29,672 vehicles last month compared with 23,882 last year when sales tanked 25 percent amid its diesel sales embargo and tight inventories cleaned out by a big October 2015 incentive push.
Deliveries last month were boosted by strong incentives, including $1,000 discounts for repeat VW buyers offered on several models including the high-volume Jetta compact and Passat midsize sedans. VW also ran its annuaal fall “Sign Then Drive” campaign, offering $0 down payment, $0 security deposit and no first-month payment on most of its lineup.
The biggest contributors were the Golf lineup, up 58 percent, and the Passat, which saw sales more than double to 6,441 units.
Sales however saw limited impact from the diesel buyback effort last month that will eventually process as 475,000 2.0-liter diesel cars with rigged emissions software.
A VW spokeswoman said the diesel buybacks began on Nov. 23, and no appointments were offered during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Another Audi record
Audi of America, meanwhile, posted its 71st-consecutive monthly sales record on strong demand for light trucks and the redesigned A4 sedan.
Audi sold 17,118 vehicles last month, up 2.5 percent from Nov. 2015.
The redesigned A4 posted a 30 percent gain and sales are up 19 percent through 11 months, despite sagging demand for luxury passenger cars.
Sales of the Q7 large crossover more than doubled while the compact Q3 crossover sales gained 45 percent. Sales of the Q5 crossover, Audi’s top-seller, slid 7.4 percent as the brand tapers down inventories ahead of the redesigned Q5’s arrival next spring.
“On the heels of a successful November, we are on pace to achieve our seventh consecutive record sales year,” Audi of America COO Mark Del Rosso said in a statement. “We are confident that our momentum will continue in 2017, which promises to be one of the biggest launch years in Audi of America history.”