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Volkswagen Sales Flat as Emissions Scandal Takes Toll

Volkswagen of America reported stagnant sales for September, in its first monthly sales report since news broke that the automaker installed “defeat device” software designed to cheat emissions tests of millions of vehicles worldwide.

October 1, 2015 – VW said it sold 145 more vehicles over all for the month of September, up 0.56%, according to the New York Times. Analysts were hesitant to predict whether the automaker could maintain sales in the future since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the company had been cheating emission tests by making its diesel cars appear far more environmentally friendly than they actually are.

With the exception of a 16% sales gain by its luxury Audi brand, VW’s sales lagged far behind the rest of the industry in September. Many of the company’s models — including the Golf, Jetta, Beetle, Passat, CC and Touareg — recorded year-over-year (YOY) losses for the month.

Volkswagen stopped selling all vehicles with 2.0 liter diesel engines shortly after the EPA announced on Sept. 18 that they were equipped with software designed to cheat emissions testing. Sales of diesel vehicles make up approximately 25% of VW’s volume in the U.S., by far the largest diesel percentage of any automaker.

So far this year, diesels have accounted for 20.4% of Volkswagen’s sales. However, in September, less than 12% of sales were diesels. VW sold 3,060 TDI models last month, compared to 5,715 in September 2014, according to the company.

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