Volkswagen’s market share falls for first time since 2007

Emissions scandal put off European buyers towards end of 2015

Volkswagen accounted for 24.8 per cent of new cars sold in Europe in 2015 Photograph: Reuters

Volkswagen accounted for 24.8 per cent of new cars sold in Europe in 2015 Photograph: Reuters

 

Volkswagen’s market share in Europe fell for the first time since 2007 as the German carmaker’s emissions-rigging scandal deterred buyers in the final months of last year.

Volkswagen accounted for 24.8 per cent of new cars sold in the region in 2015 compared with 25.5 per cent in 2014, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said onFriday.

Industry-wide registrations jumped 9.2 per cent to a six-year high of 14.2 million vehicles, outpacing the German group’s 6.2 per cent gain.

The carmaker, Europe’s biggest, has lost ground to competitors including Fiat Chrysler and luxury manufacturers BMW and Daimler since the diesel-emissions test cheating came to light in September.

Volkswagen’s plan to either reprogram vehicles’ software or install a component to meet standards won European Union clearance in December.

Regulators in the US, where the issue first emerged and where the EU approval doesn’t apply, rejected proposed recall terms this week.

‘Wait and see’

“Volkswagen customers are so far taking a wait-and-see attitude” as the carmaker works to resolve the emissions scandal, said Carlos da Silva, a Paris-based analyst at forecaster IHS Automotive.

The shares fell 0.5 per cent to €115.40 in early trade in Frankfurt.

Volkswagen has lost nearly €16 billion in market value since the scandal broke. European sales last year at the namesake VW brand rose 6.5 per cent, while the company’s premium Audi division, which slipped to third in global luxury-car deliveries behind BMW and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz marque, posted a 5.7 per cent increase in the region.

Volkswagen group sales in December gained 4.4 per cent from a year earlier, lagging behind the European market, which expanded 16 per cent to 1.16 million vehicles. The biggest manufacturers posting the steepest growth last month included Renault, with a 28 per cent surge, Ford with a 24 per cent jump and PSA Peugeot Citroen with a 21 per cent increase.

Volkswagen was the best-selling car brand in the Republic last year, with the Society of the Irish Motor Industry recording 15,379 registrations.

Bloomberg

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