Dieselgate quickly becoming a distant memory.
It was four years ago this month when Volkswagen's world collapsed following revelations it deliberately rigged diesel-powered vehicles to cheat on government emissions tests. We all know the outcome of its transgressions, such as billions of dollars in fines, recalls, buybacks, and investigations into former VW executives. At the time, some wondered whether the German automaker could ever rebuild its reputation and, equally important, its sales figures.
According to sales data obtained by Automotive News, VW's sales, specifically in the US, have not only dramatically improved but if the current sales trend continues it will top sales for 2014 – the year Dieselgate was exposed. In other words, VW is on track for a full recovery. The numbers don't lie. VW sold 366,970 vehicles in the US in 2014 and last year it sold 354,064 vehicles.
Through July, VW's sales were up by 6.1 percent to 215,796 units. At this rate, VW will have an excellent 2019. Also impressive is the fact that while VW's sales were up in the above noted time period, the industry as a whole is down by an estimated 1.6 percent. What's VW's secret? After all, it has yet to sell, let alone officially debut, its ID branded lineup of all-electric vehicles. The first of which, the ID.3, will be unveiled next week at Frankfurt.
Turns out VW's Certified Pre-Owned program has been working wonders. Through the same period, it's been responsible for selling 64,000 vehicles, a 16 percent increase. This follows a 26 percent increase in 2018. But it's clearly not only used vehicles that's led to such sales success; it's also about having the right products, and VW has them.
Sales of the Tiguan and Atlas crossovers have increased by 4.7 and 31 percent, respectively through July. Even the Jetta sedan is pulling its weight with a 43 percent sales increase in that same period. Next year, the Atlas Cross Sport, essentially a two-row version of the Atlas with sportier looks, will debut along with a new subcompact crossover slotted below the Tiguan.
Crossovers will clearly play a huge role in VW's US sales success going forward and combined with the upcoming EV lineup, which will also include all-electric crossovers, VW is very much on schedule to put the plague of Dieselgate behind it once and for all.