Volkswagen brand sales fell 5.3 percent in October, the first full month after Europe's biggest carmaker was found cheating diesel emissions tests in the United States. David Pollard reports.
Friday the 13th - unlucky for some. But the whole of October will be worrying VW. The first full month since their emissions scandal broke saw sales fall 5.3 per cent, the carmaker said on Friday. Deliveries of VW brand vehicles dropped to 490,000 cars from 517,400 a year ago. That's the eighth straight monthly drop at VW's biggest autos division by sales and revenue. Challenging times for the carmaker, according to a top exec. And for Brand Germany because of the scandal, according to NAB's Nick Parsons. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NICK PARSONS, GLOBAL CO-HEAD OF FX STRATEGY AT NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK SAYING: "I think Brand Germany has taken a huge hit to its reputation and standing. We have to take some time to see rather than just a knee-jerk reaction of a matter of weeks whether this is something which as led to a fundamental shift in the way it is perceived. Up until now, Germany has always been able to sell itself on the basis that it builds better products. It builds better products and charges premium prices for them. Its hope and belief is that it continue to do so and that its brand will survive the tarnish that it's currently suffering. All we can say is that it remains to be seen." Another top executive says he sees no evidence of further misconduct at the carmaker, beyond the manipulations of diesel emissions tests and carbon dioxide certifications. Adding that he saw no threat of job cuts for permanent staff. Earlier, VW was reported to have set an end-of-November deadline for a whistleblower programme for staff to reveal what they know about rigging the tests. VW is said to have promised staff they will keep their jobs - and will be exempt from damage claims - if they shed light on the scandal, with the exception of top-level personnel.