Economy, Auto

VW Denies Sales Slump

VW Denies Sales SlumpVW Denies Sales Slump

Volkswagen denied a report on Saturday that its sales have slumped since this month’s admission that it had understated the level of carbon dioxide emissions for some cars.

German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had reported earlier on Saturday that Volkswagen’s sales were declining significantly, citing an unnamed dealer as saying business was “dead as a doornail”, Auto News Europe reports.

“We cannot confirm the statement quoted in FAZ,” a spokesman for Volkswagen told Reuters in an emailed statement.

“The feedback we are receiving from discussions with representatives of various dealerships across the country, as well as the numbers we have, paint a different picture of the situation in Germany,” he added.

VW said on Nov. 3 it had understated the level of carbon dioxide emissions from about 800,000 cars sold mainly in Europe, and consequently their fuel usage.

That revelation deepened a crisis at Europe’s biggest carmaker, which initially centered on software on up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide that VW admitted vastly understated their actual emissions of smog-causing pollutant nitrogen oxide.

Sales of Volkswagen-branded cars fell 5.3% in October, the first full month after the scandal erupted, a slightly steeper decline than September’s 4% drop.

 VW Football Sponsorship

German first division soccer clubs Hannover 96, Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 as well as second division 1860 Munich are on the list of sponsorship deals Volkswagen Group is considering dropping to cut costs amid the ongoing scandal, German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported.

VW said soccer was a major pillar of its sponsoring strategy that it would continue to pursue in the future. “It has not yet been decided what the volume of that will be,” the company said in an emailed statement on Sunday.

On Friday, VW Group said it would cut €1 billion ($1.1 billion) from its investment plan for next year, capping spending on property, plant and equipment at about €12 billion ($12.8 billion), down about 8% on its previous plan of around €13 billion.

Auto analysts say the company could face a bill as high as €35 billion for fines, lawsuits and vehicle refits.

According to Bild am Sonntag, VW spends about €1.5 million per season on each of the soccer clubs it could now cut from its sponsorship list. In addition, VW may drop its €5 million-a-year sponsorship of ice hockey club Grizzlys Wolfsburg, the newspaper said.

Last month, first division soccer club VfL Wolfsburg said it had postponed plans for a new multimillion-euro youth training center after VW’s emissions scandal.