Wednesday 28 September 2016

Volkswagen loses Europe market share to rival Fiat

Tom Lavell

Published 17/02/2016 | 02:30

Herbert Diess, right, chairman of VW’s passenger cars brand, and German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt at the carmaker’s diesel-emissions software update in Berlin earlier this month. Photo: Reuters
Herbert Diess, right, chairman of VW’s passenger cars brand, and German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt at the carmaker’s diesel-emissions software update in Berlin earlier this month. Photo: Reuters

Volkswagen's diesel-emissions cheating scandal weighed on the German carmaker's European market share for a fifth consecutive month as deliveries dropped at home and in the UK.

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Registrations in the region by VW's namesake brand fell 4pc to fewer than 128,350 vehicles in January, counter to a 6.3pc increase in industrywide sales to 1.09 million cars, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said yesterday.

The Volkswagen group, including the Audi and Porsche luxury marques as well as the Skoda and Seat divisions, accounted for 24.3pc of European car sales last month compared with 25.6pc a year earlier.

The German car manufacturer, Europe's biggest, is struggling to overcome the crisis sparked by its admission in September that it rigged a line of diesel engines to meet emissions standards only during official tests.

Competitors picking up more European buyers in January included Fiat Chrysler, which is benefiting from the Jeep division's Renegade sport utility vehicle; General Motors' Opel unit; and Ford, which said that deliveries of its EcoSport and Kuga SUVs propelled demand.

Despite its namesake brand's slipping grip on its home market, the carmaker as a whole in January managed a higher share of European car sales than in the fourth quarter, Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst with Evercore ISI, said in a note.

"The impact from the diesel scandal does not seem overly concerning," and the worst of the "negative news headlines" appear to be over, Mr Ellinghorst said. (Bloomberg)

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