Volkswagen's car sales fall in the EU as it struggles to shake off stigma of emissions scandal

Suzie Neuwirth
The UK Are To Re-run Emissions Tests On Volkswagen Cars After German Scandal
Volkswagen sales are down in the EU (Source: Getty)

EU sales of Volkswagen's eponymous brand of cars fell by 3.8 per cent in January, flouting the wider trend of a 6.2 per cent rise in total car sales in the bloc last month.

Figures released today by Acea, the manufacturer's body, showed that VW is still feeling the pain from its emissions scandal, which revealed last year that the German car maker had been using “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests.

VW admitted in September to rigging 11 million vehicles worldwide so that they could pass tests while emitting illegal amounts of pollution, triggering a major scandal that attracted criticism on both a corporate and environmental level.

Read more: Former chief executive Martin Winterkorn was warned of defeat devices

The debacle wiped more than €17bn (£13.1bn) off the car giant's market value.

While VW sales decline, a number of its rivals saw growth over the month, with Peugeot up 3.3 per cent, Fiat up 13.7 per cent and Opel/Vauxhall up 12.8 per cent.

The EU's passenger car market saw its 29th consecutive month of growth, with Italy and Spain recording the strongest performances in January, rising 17.4 per cent and 12.1 per cent respectively.

However, some of the Volkswagen Group's other brands appeared to have been less tainted by the scandal, with Audi sales up 13.7 per cent and Skoda up five per cent. But Seat sales slumped by 9.2 per cent and Porsche sales went down 6.9 per cent.

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