SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Korea Bizwire) – Sales of Volkswagen vehicles have dropped significantly after the German company’s falsified emissions data scandal, and the ramifications are reaching other imported carmakers as well.
According to data compiled by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA), Volkswagen sold only 425 vehicles last month, which was a considerable drop from the previous month’s sales of 1834 vehicles. Volkswagen’s market share in Korea last month also plummeted from 14.5 percent to 2.7 percent year over year.
When the emissions scandal first broke in September 2015, Volkswagen did not see an immediate drop in sales; instead the company unexpectedly reached the top of the sales chart in November of the same year, possibly due to aggressive marketing tactics and discount offers.
However, what have pushed many customers to finally turn away from Volkswagen was the company’s falsification of emissions documents that caused customers to lose faith in the brand, and the South Korean government’s official decision to ban sales and cancel certification for many of the carmaker’s models, which led customers be concerned with the future value of their vehicles.
Volkswagen Group‘s other carmakers – Audi, Bentley, and Porsche – have also seen their sales plummet. Sales of imported vehicles in Korea exceeded 200,000 in 2015, which was a record high.
Audi remained in the third spot on the top-selling brand chart as of July 2016, but it, too, saw drops of 42.5 percent and 46.5 percent in sales compared to the same period in the previous year and the previous month, respectively.
Furthermore, Porsche sold 308 vehicles last month, which was a 10.5 percent drop from the previous year, and down 9.9 percent from the previous month. Bentley sales suffered the most, with drops of 61.9 percent and 74.2 percent over the same periods.
Experts predict that the imported vehicle market will continue to suffer from low sales during the second half of the year, since Volkswagen Group brands command nearly 30 percent of the market.
”Nothing can be predicted with certainty, but sales will definitely drop because Volkswagen Group cars have been pretty popular among customers. We are not sure whether sales at other brands will make up for that loss,” said Yoon Dae-sung, director of the KAIDA.
“The government’s decision to ban sales will be the biggest factor for the drop. This month’s performance can be used to predict sales in the coming months.”
By Nonnie Kim (email@example.com)