Volkswagen sales in S. Korea tumble amid emissions scandal

November 5, 2015
(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Yonhap) — Embattled German automaker Volkswagen’s sales in South Korea plunged in October, apparently affected by the deepening emissions scandal, industry data showed Thursday.

According to the data compiled by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, Volkswagen sold 947 cars in October here, down 46.2 percent from a year earlier.

The figure was also down 67.4 percent compared with the previous month, the data showed.

The October sales for Volkswagen were much worse than a 6 percent on-year rise in the total foreign car registration which stood at 17,423 units.

The setback is attributed to less demand from customers who seemed to be disenchanted by the revelation it had used stealth software to fabricate the results of emissions tests for some of its popular models, mostly diesel vehicles.

No Volkswagen models including Tiguan, one of its best-selling cars, stayed on the top 10 list in terms of sales.

Audi, a luxury brand of Volkswagen, also saw its October sales plummet 27 percent from a month earlier, though they still grew from the year before, the data showed.

Sales of foreign diesel vehicles, which have been quite popular in Korea, rose only 0.5 percent on-year in October, indicating that the ongoing scandal has been affecting the overall market.

Mercedes-Benz topped the pact by selling 3,713 cars in October, up 5.8 percent from a year earlier. BMW came second with 3,156 units but its sales dropped 9.3 percent from the same period last year.

European vehicles, including German carmakers, saw their combined sales reach 13,838 units in October, which accounted for 79.4 percent of total foreign car sales during the month, the data showed.

Meanwhile, cumulative sales of foreign brands during the January-October period stood at 196,543 units, up 21.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data.