Volkswagen leaders reported their 30th consecutive month of sales increases Friday, with the locally made Passat—especially the diesel version—helping spur growth.
"February's sales results and 30 consecutive months of growth reflect increasing consumer interest in our products," Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., said in a prepared statement. “With a full range of fuel-efficient vehicles, seven of which deliver more than 40 mpg on the highway, and the best start to a year in 29 years, we anticipate continued strong demand for our vehicles into the spring selling season.”
The Chattanooga-made Passat continued to do well last month, with 7,532 units sold. Nearly 30 percent of those sold were diesel.
And Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell said the company's success in the diesel market can't be overlooked.
It gives Volkswagen a "unique competitive advantage," she said.
"Last month, diesel cars accounted for almost a quarter of all their sales," she said in a prepared statement. "No other mainstream automaker can show that much success in the alt-fuel market ... But you can bet these numbers catch the attention of GM and Chrysler, with the Chevy Cruze diesel and the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel both on the horizon."
Overall, the company reported 31,456 units delivered in February. That represents a 2.9 percent increase over prior years' sales and the best February since 1973.
And Volkswagen’s high-mileage, clean-diesel TDI models made up 22.4.percent of sales in February, which is a 10.9 percent increase over last year.