Following the ” diesel gate ” shock, Volkswagen continues to gain ground on the US car market. Overall, however, the signs are on a downturn.
Herndon / Detroit (dpa) – After the slump in the wake of the exhaust scandal Volkswagen has increased its US sales in 2018 for the second year in a row. Thanks to sought-after SUV models, a total of 354,064 passenger cars with the VW logo were brought to the customers there, as the Wolfsburg-based carmaker announced.
VW was thus significantly better than the largest US manufacturers General Motors ( GM ) and Ford at the end of the year . Market leader GM , which submits its results only every three months, lost 2.7 percent fewer new cars in the fourth quarter than in the same period last year. Ford reported a minus of 8.8 percent for the single month of December.
For the full year 2018, the US heavyweights also recorded noticeable declines. At GM , sales dropped 1.6 percent to nearly 3.0 million vehicles and Ford 3.5 percent to 2.5 million cars. After years of sales boom, the US market has been cooling down for a long time due to higher interest rates and higher fuel prices. Analysts see no turnaround in the new year.
GM and Ford are also facing rising material costs, including US tariff disputes with trading partners such as China and the EU. GM announced in November that it would cut production and massively reduce jobs in North America. Also, Ford wants to reduce costs drastically.
Not all automakers were disappointed with the annual results. Fiat Chrysler increased sales in December by 14 percent thanks to flourishing Jeep sales. Japanese Nissan and Honda gained 7.6 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, while rival Toyota suffered a 0.9 percent decline. Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche increased its sales by 4.4% in December and by 3.2% in full-year 2018.