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Firm pays price of cheating scandal

VW takes sales hit following emissions scandal

VW VolkswagenSales of Volkswagen vehicles in Britain dropped by a fifth in November, the first full month since the emissions scandal rocked the German company.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed 12,958 VW cars were registered in November, against 16,196 in the same month last year, a 20% fall.

Other VW Group marques were also hit, with Seat down 24%, Skoda down 11% and Audi down 4%. Only Bentley managed an increase, with sales up from 73 vehicles to 88.

The scandal over emissions cheating initially broke in September, when the carmaker admitted its cars were fitted with devices designed to cheat tests.

As many as 11 million cars fitted with the devices worldwide may have to be recalled.

About €10bn has been wiped from VW’s valuation and the group, which includes the Audi, Seat and Skoda brands, could face €30bn in legal bills, fines and modifying costs.

The VW Golf and the Audi A3 both stayed in the top ten most popular cars sold in the UK, but the VW Polo, which was the seventh best-selling car in October, has dropped off the list.

Total car sales in the UK performed well last month, growing by 3.8% from the same period in 2014, an uptick on October when sales fell by 1.1%, the first monthly fall in UK sales for nearly four years.

In total, 178,876 new cars were registered in November, with Ford and Vauxhall the most popular manufacturers, selling over 20,000 cars each, and claiming a combined 23% of the market.

Commenting on the overall figures for the UK automarket, Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive said: “November’s figures come as a reminder of the strength of the UK car market, as low interest rates and competitive finance deals continue to attract consumers to new car ownership.”

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