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Volkswagen, more pain and no gain
Published: Tue, 10th May 2016 19:08:18 GMT

Autostadt Wolsfsburg car lift photo Volkswagen

West Europe’s new car market is still flourishing - a least by the harsh standards of its recent past – with AID’s exclusive provisional figures revealing yet another month of notably hotter than expected 8.3 per cent growth in April. A clear endorsement of the market’s good health, this marks the 32nd successive gain in a row, bringing this year’s cumulative car sales gain to April to 7.8 per cent. But a happy story of still blooming new car sales contrasts with the sorry tale of Volkswagen’s altogether different fortunes

While there's a lot that Europe's disgraced Volkswagen brand can do to hide the worst of the otherwise outwardly visible damage from the self-inflicted dieselgate scandal, chiefly higher than average sales incentives to prevent previously loyal customers from jumping ship, those looking closely enough at latest numbers will be presented with a largely unfamiliar development. 

Apart from the view that of late Volkswagen’s formerly high-brow image of near invincibility has gone up in a puff of smoke, even casual market observers will detect something largely unfamiliar in latest West European car sales numbers: A continuous shrinking in Volkswagen’s market share.

This April, effectively the 4th round in this year’s West European car sales bout, the already bruised Volkswagen brand was again pinned to the ropes and absorbing further punishment. 

That, at least is the message from AID’s provisional West European April car sales result, painting an unflattering picture of a disgraced long-running champion fighting tooth and nail to avoid a humiliating whipping from lesser rivals.

In Western Europe, the Volkswagen brand has narrowly averted a dose of tumbling sales in April’s otherwise buoyant April car market. 

However, most of its most notable mass-market rivals, led by rejuvenated Fiat, followed in turn by Opel and Peugeot, have comfortable outpaced their battle-worn Wolfsburg rival. 

These provisional AID figures reveal that the continuing shift in consumer car buying preference has come largely at Volkswagen’s expense


| Volkswagen buffeted by stiffening headwinds in March  11 Apr 2016

| Is Volkswagen’s Teflon coating starting to wear thin?  10 Feb 2016

| Europe’s car market got off to a fine start  08 Feb 2016

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